It appears that energy efficiency efforts are increasing, both at state and utility levels.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) reports that states across the country are reaching or exceeding energy savings goals established through Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS). This means utility bills for consumers are being lowered.
Two reports released by ACEEE – a nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, energy security, and environmental protection – indicate states and utilities will achieve even higher energy savings for utility customers in the years ahead.
The first report, Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: A Progress Report on State Energy Savings Targets, documents the performance of every state with an EERS program in place for more than two years. Comparing actual performance with the EERS targets, 13 of 19 states are achieving 100 percent or more of their goals, with three states achieving over 90 percent of their goals. In each case, the report indicates that state EERS policies are driving energy efficiency investments and energy cost savings to unprecedented levels.
“These states are demonstrating that energy efficiency programs deliver real savings for utilities and rate-payers,” said Michael Sciortino, Policy Analyst and the report’s lead author, adding, “it is more affordable than any supply-side energy source,”.
By law, the energy efficiency programs implemented in states with EERS programs must cost less than the electricity that would have been produced if not for the programs.
ACEEE provides this example for customer savings that have been realized: In 2009 and 2010, Ohio utility customers saved $56 million in energy costs over the costs of delivering the programs. Over the lifetime of these programs, they are expected to save customers in excess of three-quarters of a billion dollars.
If a comprehensive national energy policy remains beyond the reach of Congress, states are taking action to show how bold energy efficiency policies can benefit residential, commercial, and industrial consumers, says Steven Nadel, ACEEE Executive Director.
The second report, Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: State Strategies to Reach Higher Energy Savings, documents how utilities are planning to expand efforts to hit the higher energy savings levels.
The report provides an analysis of six states with some of the largest and most successful energy efficiency programs in the country – California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Vermont. In these states, utilities are employing new strategies to expand existing programs, add new ones, enhance advertising and promotions, and conduct innovative pilot projects.
Six other states – Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania – are examined for their development of energy efficiency programs.
“Experts who specialize in these states say the potential for cost-effective energy efficiency is more than sufficient to meet the goals that have been established, and they put the likelihood of states continuing to meet their goals in the 90 percent range,” said Martin Kushler, a senior research fellow at ACEEE. “The greatest challenge for the future isn’t technical—it’s inspiring the political will necessary to pass these energy- and money-saving standards in every state.”
PHOTO: I♥RainyDays’ photostream
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