The Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) approved new rules for utility energy efficiency programs this week. The centerpiece to the rule change is an increase to the state’s energy savings targets from 20% of electric demand growth to 25% growth in demand in 2012 and 30% in 2013 and beyond. The rule also establishes customer cost caps to contain costs. An analysis by Good Company Associates finds that the new goals will not significantly impact energy efficiency spending in the near term, and that the cost-caps should not be a serious constraint on most utility efficiency programs, given the relatively modest goals adopted.
Texas was the first state to adopt energy efficiency savings targets (Energy Efficiency Resource Standards), but it risks leaving potential energy savings on the table. A 2008 study commissioned by the state legislature found that a target reaching 50% of load growth by 2015 was achievable.
See Good Company Associates’ summary of the rule change for more information: Good Company Associates: Substantive Changes Made to Rules Governing Texas Utility Run Energy Efficiency Programs.
For more information on energy efficiency policies in Texas and all the states, visit the ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Policy Database.