Are Energy Efficiency Goals Achievable?
As part of the 2013 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, held in Chicago in mid-January, the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) invited RAP Principal Janine Migden-Ostrander to illustrate how states can achieve current Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS). States are generally on track to meet or exceed their EERS, however, they will need to enhance existing EERS programs in order to achieve the annual energy savings goals of 2% for electric and 1% for gas. Ms. Migden-Ostrander explored the current challenges of increasing baseline standards, such as residential lighting and linear fluorescent standards, more stringent building codes, net-to-gross and attribution issues, and the growing importance of small loads. States can leverage this least-cost resource through regulatory policies such as decoupling, rate design that incentivizes customers to consume less and participate in programs, shareholder incentives for good efficiency program performance, and increasing program funding. While meeting energy efficiency goals may become more challenging with time, past experience has demonstrated that new technologies will create new opportunities for savings. The good news? The 2% goals are clearly attainable and are being exceeded by many utilities today.