Energy Efficiency Programs
The past year included many successes, including quite a few that we can build on in the new year. Among the notable developments in 2015:
This holiday season, New Orleans residents have cause for celebration as they receive an unexpected holiday gift: a new focus on energy efficiency savings.
Cities are responsible for the majority of energy consumption, and local governments can play a critical role in addressing energy and environmental challenges. So, cities have a real opportunity to lead by pushing for ambitious policies to reduce energy waste in their own backyard. New Orleans’ city council did just that with some recent legislation.
The 2015 City Scorecard ranks 51 large US cities across five policy areas on their policies and efforts to save energy. Its focus on policies and other initiatives is meant to identify and highlight important actions cities can take to become more efficient. In the process, it offers the beginnings of an efficiency roadmap for any city that wants to save more energy.
Independent Reports Reach Same Conclusions on the Future of Energy Efficiency Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification
Washington, DC—ACEEE and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) released new reports today that analyze the current and future impacts of information and communications technologies (ICT) on evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) practices. EM&V demonstrates the value of energy efficiency programs by providing accurate, transparent, and consistent assessments of their performance.
In the past year, a growing number of papers from economists have questioned the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs and policies. We have reviewed many of these studies and blogged about several of them (see here, here, here and here).
Energy efficiency improvements provide value over and above utility bill savings. ACEEE’s new report Recognizing the Value of Energy Efficiency’s Multiple Benefits describes the gains outside of energy savings created by energy efficiency improvements. Many of these benefits accrue to residential and business energy consumers. Additional benefits accrue in the form of cost reductions to the utility system, resulting in lower costs for all customers.
California has long been an energy efficiency leader, topping ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard from 2006–2010 and ranking #2 since then. But like many states, California would much prefer to be #1 and has been upping its game, achieving a “most improved” grade in our 2015 Scorecard and trailing the #1 state by only half a point.
October marks the release of the 9th edition of ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, and we’re convinced it’s the best one yet. That’s because every year we refine our methodology, getting better and more specific data from states and adjusting our scoring criteria to reflect the changing landscape of energy efficiency. This year, we are making a few big changes, but you’ll still recognize the State Scorecard you’ve come to know.
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.
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.