Whether the question at hand is how to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) at least-cost or how to help align customer and utility investment, energy efficiency (EE) is the answer. On a panel at the 2015 National Association of Energy Service Companies’ (NAESCO) Annual Meeting, Richard Sedano reported on the state of EE today, while providing a glimpse into how it will be delivered as the power sector moves toward a more transactive relationship between electricity customers and service suppliers, including utilities.

EE efficiency is a low-cost option for CPP compliance that also carries numerous societal, utility system, and consumer benefits. The State of New York, with its forward-thinking “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV) initiative, crafted a catalog of reforms for markets, planning, rates, regulation, performance, services, and technology. If well implemented, energy efficiency not only supports all of these reforms, but benefits from them as well. This value is lost if EE mandates are removed and not replaced with full suite of equally effective reforms. While New York’s REV process may be too extensive for some states, energy efficiency is a critical component of any effort to transform the power sector.