Energy Efficiency as a Resource
Puerto Rico experienced another island-wide blackout last week. Distributed energy resources such as combined heat and power (CHP) could help communities avoid or minimize some impacts of large-scale natural disasters including blackouts.
Extreme weather events and natural disasters such as bomb cyclones, forest fires, the polar vortex, and hurricanes are wreaking havoc on buildings, the electric grid, and other critical US infrastructure. Some communities are still struggling to rebuild from last year’s disasters, even as another hurricane season approaches.
The increased prevalence of distributed energy resources is driving changes to utility planning. Our new report, The Role of Energy Efficiency in a Distributed Energy Future, found that most utilities are not currently using energy efficiency in distribution system planning, but several states are pursuing new approaches to using efficiency to displace traditional distribution infrastructure upgrades and integrate more renewables into the grid.
A recent federal proposal puts a spotlight on an uncommonly popular topic: wholesale energy markets. Our new research shows that energy efficiency has provided steadily increasing value to grid operators and customers in two such markets. Our report, Energy Efficiency in Capacity Auctions: A Historical Review of Value, finds that since they have been included, efficiency resources have almost tripled in the Mid-Atlantic auction and almost quadrupled in a similar auction in New England.
Our first-ever scorecard of US utilities, released today, reveals striking regional differences and identifies the best — and worst — performers on energy efficiency. The 2017 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard looks at the performance of the 51 largest electric utilities in the United States and highlights cutting-edge efforts. Topping the list are Eversource Massachusetts and National Grid Massachusetts, which both earned the same score.
What is your utility doing to promote energy efficiency? Could it be doing more? Find out in ACEEE’s first Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard, to be released on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Get excited about this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive look at utility-sector energy efficiency performance by joining our countdown to its release. Here are 10 things to look for:
Today, most American households pay for electric service via a two-part electric rate. This typically consists of a small, fixed customer charge ($ per month) and an energy rate applied per unit of electricity ($ per kilowatt hour). There are some variations on this model, including energy rates that vary based on time of day or total monthly consumption, but the basic structure of residential rates hasn’t changed much over time. In recent years, utilities have proposed significant departures to this format to address the changing dynamics of the electric utility industry.
Washington, DC—Maryland could gain more than 68,000 new jobs and $3.75 billion in new gross domestic product as a result of investments to be made over the next 10 years through the EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency program, according to a new study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The study comes as the Maryland General Assembly debates bipartisan legislation to extend EmPOWER Maryland and establish new statewide energy efficiency goals.