Accelerating Energy Efficiency in Texas
Although Texas was the first state in the country to adopt an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS), it now ranks in the lower third of states in annual energy savings and energy efficiency investment according to American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). At a meeting of the Southwest Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) in Houston, Jim Lazar explored the impacts of accelerating energy efficiency in Texas. He estimated that the state could save as much as $20 billion over ten years by augmenting energy efficiency funding. When determining whether efficiency investments are cost-effective, it is critical to capture the full value of energy efficiency benefits. This includes not only the utility system benefits, but also non-utility benefits such as health impacts, energy security, economic development, air quality, and resource conservation. The total resource cost test is better suited to this purpose than the utility cost test. States with a third-party administrator to operate their energy efficiency programs boast two to four times the national average for efficiency performance.