With the promising trend of plunging prices for renewable energy, there may be a temptation to wonder whether energy efficiency is still cost effective. The answer is a very affirmative “yes.” As companies, cities, and states work to keep energy costs down and meet ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, the choice should not be energy efficiency versus renewable energy. To meet these goals, we need to maximize both resources.
Electricity bills don’t make for terribly exciting reading, but as boring as they may look, there is much more going on beneath the surface. Whereas the price most people pay for electricity remains steady from month to month, electricity costs can change dramatically from one hour to the next for the utilities that send the bills. For example, weather can cause demand to spike, raising prices as well, and suddenly the cost of the electricity is much different from the price we see on our bill.
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.
As new models with longer ranges, state-of-the-art features, and lower prices enter the market, 2018 is widely expected to be the year of the electric vehicles (EV).
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.
ACEEE’s 2017 National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource, held October 30-November 1 near Phoenix, Arizona, explored several emerging areas in the field, such as the health-related benefits of saving energy. This ninth biennial ACEEE “EER” Conference, like prior ones since 2001, featured a packed agenda. ACEEE has posted all the presentations on our web site, available for free public access.
As gas and electric utilities increasingly rely on energy efficiency as a resource, innovative ways to evaluate its impacts are emerging. Our new report Recent Developments in Energy Efficiency Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification presents examples of what pioneering states and utilities are doing to address challenges and take steps to evolve in a changing utility landscape.
Washington, DC—As more states struggle with extreme weather events, the 2017 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard gives state-level policymakers a road map for building stronger and more-resilient communities. This 11th annual report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), released today, shows which states are doing the best on energy efficiency — a critical tool for withstanding and recovering from storms and economic shocks.
Energy and water resources have long been recognized as interdependent, but policymakers have rarely addressed their interaction in any formal way. The energy-water nexus has increasingly attracted the attention of researchers and practitioners. Their goal is to better understand how water is used to produce energy and generate electricity; how energy is used to move, heat, and treat water; and how policies can successfully address the technical challenges of efficiently managing these resources together.
Southeastern residents currently face historically high poverty rates, and low-income households spend an average of three times as much on energy bills, as a portion of their monthly income, than other families. Energy efficiency investments could help lower energy bills, but low-income residents in the region often lack access to energy-saving upgrades.