States, like sisters, are doing it for themselves. I mean we really should say thank you, stalled Congress, for spurring energy efficient action at the local level: USA Today reported this week on how Energy Efficient Resource Standards (EERS) have taken hold nationally, if not from above, then on a grassroots level: States’ efforts lead the way on energy efficiency (also on EnergyCentral).
I mean, did you think you’d see the day? In the last decade, not only have over half of the states set rules mandating policy for reduced energy consumption, but the impact is showing:
“… the results are lower bills for consumers and a reduced need to build power plants.”
Nevermind the cost savings for a second – we’ll get back to that – just look at the mass action needed to halt growth. Mass action NOT incited by our main governing body, (though you could make a case for the American Reinvestment Act being the real catalyst). Action that, through reduction, makes the idea of building another power plant unnecessary.
And the cost savings is real: For example, in 2009 and 2010, Ohio utility customers saved $56 million in energy costs over and above the costs to deliver energy efficient programs.
The above stat comes from a hot-off-the-presses report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy titled Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: A Progress Report on State Experience. It states:
“over half the states now embrace specific energy efficiency savings goals, known as…EERS. An EERS requires utilities…to save a certain amount of energy each year, typically expressed as a percentage of annual retail energy sales or as specific energy savings amounts set over a long-term period.”
Thirteen out of twenty states with EERS policies in place for over two years are achieving 100% or more of their goals. BOO-YAH.
“These states are demonstrating that energy efficiency programs deliver real savings for utilities and ratepayers, and it is more affordable than any supply-side energy source,” said report author Michael Sciortino of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a Washington-based research group.
Fun facts? The most successful energy efficiency programs are found in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Vermont. You can read about how they work their magic here.
Lastly, don’t miss the June article in facilitiesnet.com, the online publication of Building Operating Management (follow BOM on Twitter), Understanding What An Energy Model Can And Can’t Do Is Critical To Its Success. It’s part of a series, Biggest Bang for Your Efficiency Buck. Part 2, Realistic Expectations Needed To Get Most Out Of Energy Modeling, is here.
Images from ACEEE reports, Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: A Progress Report on State Experience and State Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) Activity.