Blog | October 6, 2015

Smart thermostat initiatives reveal exciting new horizons for energy efficiency programs

Today, Commonwealth Edison, several smart thermostat manufacturers, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center announced a major new initiative with a target to install one million smart thermostats in the homes of Commonwealth Edison customers over five years. Commonwealth Edison (commonly called ComEd) serves northern Illinois, including the Chicago metropolitan area.

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Blog | October 2, 2015

Ohio study committee gets it wrong on energy efficiency targets

On Wednesday, a group of Ohio policymakers released their recommendations to indefinitely freeze the state's clean energy and energy efficiency targets. Their misinformed recommendations, if implemented, would once again deliver a major setback to Ohio energy bill payers and the state's clean energy economy.

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Blog | July 27, 2015

Three cheers for Maryland!

Last week the Maryland Public Service Commission released its long-awaited order on several key energy efficiency issues. The decisions in the order placed Maryland in the forefront of national energy efficiency leadership.

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Blog | December 4, 2014

Some utilities are rushing to raise fixed charges. That would be bad for the economy and your utility bill

Slow growth in electricity demand (or, in some places, flat or declining sales) and growing numbers of customer photovoltaic systems are creating concern among utilities about their ability to adequately recover the costs associated with producing electricity. In response, there has been a disturbing trend around the country of utilities proposing to simply raise monthly “fixed charges,” or the charges we pay to the utility just for being a customer.

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Blog | November 24, 2014

Conquering the evening peak

As you may know, I’ve been thinking about issues relating to the utility of the future, as documented in our June 2014 report. The report mentions, but does not emphasize, a potential emerging trend that could have a large impact on many utilities: the reduction of the traditional mid-afternoon peak, and the growth of an evening peak. (Peak is the time when demand for power is highest.)

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Blog | November 10, 2014

Commission staff proposal would encroach on Arizonans’ freedom to choose how they use energy

Voters made many decisions on Election Day. Governors were chosen and new laws were adopted. But one choice Arizona voters didn’t get to make may raise utility costs for families and businesses in the state.

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Blog | August 6, 2014

Combined natural gas and electric utility energy efficiency programs score expanded savings

Baseball’s All-Star Game assembles teams of the best athletes to face off against each other and play at an extraordinary level, beyond what is possible during the regular season. Natural gas and electric utilities design and build dual-fuel energy efficiency programs that score added energy savings and cut costs beyond what they could have achieved on their own. While the All-Star Game happens just once each year, combined gas and electric energy efficiency programs are performing at levels beyond the ordinary on an ongoing basis.

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Blog | June 10, 2014

Utilities are frightened of a “death spiral.” They shouldn’t be.

The electric and gas utility industries are facing substantial changes. For decades, rising sales have contributed to increasing revenues and profits, but the combination of improved energy efficiency with the growing use of solar electric systems and other forms of “distributed energy” has reduced growth rates, which could lead to small declines in future sales.

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Blog | May 14, 2014

The “whole elephant” method for commercial building retrofits

Commercial buildings consume 20% of the total energy used in the United States---more than the energy consumed by all the nation’s cars, trains, and airplanes put together. A significant portion of this energy can be saved through efficiency in design, systems, and operation. Utilities and other efficiency program administrators have long been incentivizing energy efficiency measures that target various energy end uses such as lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

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Blog | December 19, 2013

Using the ACEEE Field Guide to Utility-Run Behavior Programs

Today ACEEE is releasing the Field Guide to Utility-Run Behavior Programs, the first comparative analysis of programs that focus on changing customer behavior to save energy. 

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