NewEnergyNews: MOST EFFICIENT STATES

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    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    MOST EFFICIENT STATES

    ACEEE Study: States That Spend on Energy-Efficiency May Be Good Bets; Although spending on energy-efficiency programs is uneven across the nation, an ACEEE study shows an overall upward trajectory over the past 30 years, and such spending may help to lure companies to those states with EERS in place.

    July 2012 (Area Development Online)

    “The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently conducted a study on electric utility energy-efficiency activity in the United States from the 1970s to date: Three Decades and Counting: A Historical Review and Current Assessment of Electric Utility Energy-Efficiency Activity in the States. …[I]n response to the energy crisis of the 1970s, electric utility companies developed energy-efficiency programs that emphasized energy conservation…

    “…These programs grew rapidly in the 1980s, at which time utilities instituted a practice known as demand-side management (DSM)…Spending on such programs reached nearly $2 billion by 1993. However, with the deregulation of the utility industry in the mid-1990s, funding for utility energy-efficiency programs fell to just $900 million by 1998…[But] states began to establish new funding mechanisms…with spending on such programs increasing to $1.1 billion by 2000…16 states accounted for 86 percent of total U.S. spending on energy-efficiency programs…[F]unding only reached $1.45 billion by 2004, with 20 states then accounting for 88 percent…”

    “From the mid-2000s on, however, funding on such programs grew rapidly, increasing from $1.6 billion in 2006 to $4.6 billion by 2010…driven by “energy efficiency resource standards” (EERS), which are measurable, long-term energy-savings targets…The EERS specify the percentage of future electricity needs that must be met using energy-efficiency measures, typically equal to a specific percentage of the projected load…25 states have EERS in place…

    “In many of these states, EERS are included in or complement a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) or a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)… Some states have a separate EERS and RPS, while other states combine the mechanisms by allowing energy efficiency to meet part or all of an RPS. Taken together, these standards are an important factor when companies are considering where to expand or relocate…[though the combination] could have unintended consequences…”

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