The Shifting Landscape of Ratepayer-Funded Energy Efficiency in the U.S.

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

Over the last two decades, utility ratepayer funding for energy efficiency programs - and the associated energy savings - has seen both booms and busts. Currently, about 35 states implement ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs, with a total U.S. budget of $3.1 billion in 2008, approximately 80% of which is concentrated in just ten states (CEE 2008).2 However, a proliferation of new state-level policies enacted over the past several years suggests that the next decade may see a dramatic and sustained increase in overall funding levels, and a fundamental re-drawing of the energy efficiency map. These new state energy efficiency policies ... continued below

Creation Information

Barbose, Galen L; Goldman, Charles & Schlegel, Jeff July 13, 2009.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this report can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content.

Publisher

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this report. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

Over the last two decades, utility ratepayer funding for energy efficiency programs - and the associated energy savings - has seen both booms and busts. Currently, about 35 states implement ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs, with a total U.S. budget of $3.1 billion in 2008, approximately 80% of which is concentrated in just ten states (CEE 2008).2 However, a proliferation of new state-level policies enacted over the past several years suggests that the next decade may see a dramatic and sustained increase in overall funding levels, and a fundamental re-drawing of the energy efficiency map. These new state energy efficiency policies reflect a variety of concerns, including the increasing cost and siting challenges of building new generation and transmission, fuel cost and supply risks, and the potential cost of future carbon regulations. Within the past three years, for example, eleven states have adopted energy efficiency portfolio (or resource) standards (EEPS or EERS) that establish specific long-term savings targets that utilities are obligated to meet, and at least three other states are currently considering the same. A growing number of states have recently established laws requiring utilities to acquire all available cost-effective energy efficiency. Regulators in several Western states have also recently revised integrated resource planning (IRP) and demand-side management (DSM) planning rules to require more robust analysis of the resource potential and benefits of energy efficiency, which has resulted in increased savings targets for their energy efficiency portfolios (Hopper et al. 2008). Finally, regulators and utilities in many states are beginning to look more closely at regulatory incentive mechanisms to better align utility financial interests with improvements in customer energy efficiency. We examined energy efficiency policies on the books or in the pipeline in all 50 states, along with recent IRPs and DSM plans, and developed low, medium and high projections of future energy efficiency spending and savings. Depending on how aggressively and effectively states implement these policies, we estimate that spending on ratepayer-funded energy efficiency could increase from $3.1 billion in 2008 to more than $12 billion (nominal dollars) per year by 2020 in our high case, a growth rate in spending of about 12% per year. Annual electricity savings nationally could triple from an estimated 0.3% of retail electricity sales in 2008 to 0.9% of retail electricity sales in 2020. In the low and medium scenarios, ratepayer funding for electric and gas energy efficiency in the U.S. would increase to $5.4 and $7.5 billion, respectively, by 2020. What are the implications of such a scale-up of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency activity for national energy policy, such as a national EEPS or future carbon regulations? Can a ramp-up of this scale be achieved, and what practical constraints might slow these efforts? This paper addresses these questions by first providing an overview of recent trends in state policies pertaining to ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in the U.S. The paper then presents our set of projections of future spending and savings from such programs, highlighting key themes. Projected energy savings are compared to what might be required under a future national EEPS (or broader clean energy standard that includes energy efficiency), in order to gauge the potential incremental impact of such policies. In addition, the carbon emission reductions associated with our projection of energy savings from ratepayer-funded programs is compared to the total emission reductions that might be required under the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (aka, the Waxman-Markey bill), which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2009 and would establish a cap on total greenhouse gas emission for many sectors of the U.S. economy. Last, the paper discusses some of the major obstacles and challenges that states and program administrators may face over the coming decade, as they seek to dramatically ramp-up ratepayer-funded energy efficiency program activity, as projected.

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems.

  • Report No.: LBNL-2258E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/970817 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 970817
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc933867

Collections

This report is part of the following collection of related materials.

Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

What responsibilities do I have when using this report?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this report.

Creation Date

  • July 13, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Jan. 4, 2017, 6:03 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this report last used?

Congratulations! It looks like you are the first person to view this item online.

Interact With This Report

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

International Image Interoperability Framework

IIF Logo

We support the IIIF Presentation API

Barbose, Galen L; Goldman, Charles & Schlegel, Jeff. The Shifting Landscape of Ratepayer-Funded Energy Efficiency in the U.S., report, July 13, 2009; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc933867/: accessed September 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.