Indiana Businesses Support Energy Efficiency. So Why is the Legislature Trying to Gut the State’s Programs?
What began in the Indiana Senate as an ill-advised but simple industrial opt-out bill took an unexpected, hard turn in the Indiana General Assembly last week, morphing into a bill that completely eliminates Indiana’s energy efficiency resource standard [no-glossary](EERS)[/no-glossary].
State-led energy efficiency efforts have made significant progress this year, particularly energy efficiency resource standards (EERS), or policies that require long-term energy savings. ACEEE has been tracking EERS policies for many years, and the past few have been a bit of a rollercoaster. Beginning in 2004, several states a year committed to EERS targets, and by late 2010 we counted twenty-six states with EERS policies in place. But, like any good roller coaster ride, the upward climb was followed by a downward drop.
Proponents of energy efficiency believe that it not only saves energy and money, it creates jobs. The stronger the evidence that energy efficiency programs and polices create economic opportunity and jobs, the greater the likelihood that federal, state, and local governments will support them. Managers of existing programs use a variety of methods to monitor and evaluate their job creation impacts in order to justify and extend the investment.
How much energy savings resulted from a given energy efficiency program? This is the fundamental question that program evaluators have faced since the days of the very first energy efficiency programs in the 1970’s.
As 2013 draws to a close, it's useful to reflect back on the past year and look forward to the coming one. Despite political and economic headwinds, the states and federal and local governments continued to make progress on energy efficiency policies in 2013. Among the states, Mississippi and Louisiana decided to begin utility programs, and Connecticut and Maine passed legislation to advance efficiency initiatives.
Massachusetts Most Energy-Efficient State in 2013 with California Close Behind at #2, Mississippi is Most Improved
Top 10 States Ranked in Energy Efficiency Scorecard: MA, CA, NY, OR, CT, RI, VT, WA, MD, and IL
5 States Most Needing Improvement : ND, WY, SD, AK, MS
5 Most Improved States: MS, ME, KS, OH, and WV
In the pursuit of new and more significant energy efficiency savings, ACEEE has published several reports outlining some of the innovative ways utilities can help their customers reduce energy waste through program design and new technologies.
Like the great river that is its namesake, Mississippi has been moving swiftly along on efforts to save residents and businesses money on their energy bills, and as a result is becoming a regional leader in energy efficiency. Governor Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Legislature, and the Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) have all taken major steps recently to improve energy efficiency.
Utilities and policymakers are increasingly turning to energy efficiency as a low-cost way to meet or curtail rising energy demand. One policy tool in particular—an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS)—has been instrumental in providing a framework for energy efficiency across the nation.