The Next Quantum Leap in Efficiency: 30 Percent Electric Savings in Ten Years
Energy efficiency is a valuable, least-cost alternative to supply-side investments. States’ recognition of this value has grown dramatically in the U.S. over the past ten years, with leading jurisdictions now acquiring more than twice as much electric efficiency savings as they did a decade ago. A new RAP study conducted by Chris Neme and Jim Grevatt of Energy Futures Group concludes that it should be possible to cost-effectively meet 30 percent of forecast electricity needs with new efficiency investments over the next ten years—a level of savings that is 50 to 100 percent greater than what leading states are acquiring today. The authors’ recommendations for achieving 30 percent electric savings in ten years include increasing efficiency program funding to capture all cost-effective efficiency, eliminating utilities’ financial disincentives to support efficiency, expressing goals in terms of lifetime savings generated over a multi-year period, setting long-term electricity sales goals, or electricity intensity goals, and fully valuing all of the benefits of efficiency. They also highlight the importance of encouraging and rewarding market transformation efforts, striking a better balance in the regulation of utility efficiency programs, exploring new regulatory approaches to the acquisition of efficiency resources, as well as broadening, accelerating, and improving the effectiveness of efficiency codes and standards.