Utility Regulation & Policy
Energy efficiency has come a long way. From its roots in the energy crises of the 1970s, it has grown and evolved to become an integral part of our energy landscape. Examples of energy efficiency advances are ubiquitous and often invisible. We see the results of such advances in the slow growth of electricity demand in recent years. Our homes, offices, businesses, and factories continue to become more energy efficient due to innovation in technologies and applications.
Opponents of energy efficiency often make the claim that the only people who benefit from utility energy efficiency programs are program participants. Any energy efficiency improvements those participants are making, they argue, are simply being subsidized by non-participants. Our study finds that is not true; all utility system customers benefit from energy efficiency investment.
How to make the utility of the future an energy-efficient one: New ACEEE report series charts the course for aligning utility business models and energy efficiency
Utilities have traditionally earned profits by simply selling more energy and building more power plants and infrastructure, which put their financial motivations squarely at odds with the goal of greater energy efficiency. Luckily, that business model has started to change, which is good news for the nation’s economy, environment, and for consumers who want more options for saving energy in their homes and businesses. With the proper regulatory tools in place, utilities’ financial motivations can be aligned with energy efficiency outcomes.
There’s a flurry of activity surrounding energy savings goals in Pennsylvania, and what it will mean for energy efficiency will depend on decisions by both regulators and legislators. Pennsylvania first set energy savings goals in 2008, with its Act 129 legislation. The state is now at a key juncture, with the public utility commission (PUC) making a decision soon on the next round of targets.
Who knew an “and” could unravel everything? In Maine, we’re seeing just how much damage three missing letters can do.
Here at ACEEE we are big fans of combined heat and power (CHP). It’s energy efficient, it helps with resiliency, and it could be a key strategy for complying with carbon pollution reduction requirements.
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.
ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard was released last month. You may have seen the rankings, but did you know that combined heat and power (CHP) has its own chapter? We’ve been publishing the Scorecard since 2007. Each year, we’ve seen the policy landscape change, and we’ve refined the metrics to quantify state progress in each policy area to make sure they keep pace with current trends. The CHP chapter is no exception.
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.