Advancing Energy Efficiency in Arkansas: Opportunities for a Clean Energy Economy

Research Report E104

Authors

Max Neubauer, Steven Nadel, Jacob Talbot, Amanda Lowenberger, Dan Trombley, Sarah Black, Nate Kaufman, Shruti Vaidyanathan, Ben Foster, and Skip Laitner (ACEEE); Marca Hagenstad, Dan Violette, and Stuart Schare (Navigant Consulting, Inc.); David White and Rick Hornby (Synapse Energy Economics, Inc.)

Description:

This report examines the potential electricity, natural gas, and fuel savings that could be realized in Arkansas through the implementation of a suite of eleven energy efficiency and nine transportation policies and quantifies the growth in gross state product and employment that would result from these investments. Arkansas is currently transitioning from its two-year “Quick Start” utility energy efficiency program phase towards a “comprehensive” phase that will pursue more aggressive savings and increased funding as stipulated by the 10 Orders issued by the Arkansas Public Service Commission in December 2010. This report also discusses several enabling policies that are intended to facilitate the transition into the comprehensive phase, allowing Arkansas to capture more savings and economic benefits from the current and future programs. At stake is the economic vitality of a state that is both heavily industrialized and rural, and is also one of the more energy-intensive: Arkansas is ranked the 11th highest in the nation in energy consumption per dollar of gross state product. In order for the Arkansas economy to continue to expand and ensure adequate energy resources in the future to accommodate this growth, the state must capitalize on its vast efficiency potential while leveraging the momentum generated by efficiency policies recently implemented, such as energy savings targets for state-owned buildings. Our analysis shows that sustained investments in efficiency will not only help reduce growth in energy demand, they will also catalyze economic development and create tens of thousands of new, "green collar" jobs, positioning Arkansas as a regional and national efficiency leader.