Utilities in the southwest are making major strides in energy efficiency, quickly raising the region’s status as a leader in utility-run demand-side management (DSM) programs. A number of the region’s investor-owned utilities have incorporated aggressive DSM program plans into the integrated resource planning process, which allows utilities to carefully plan and establish energy efficiency savings and spending goals.
A quick glance at ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard over the past few years will reveal some distinct regional divides. States on the east and west coasts and in the upper Midwest occupy the most spots at the top of the list, while the Southeast consistently ranks low in energy efficiency. Considering the region’s economic reliance on fossil fuels, it is no surprise that the concept of saving energy is met with skepticism.
In September, the New York State Senate passed landmark legislation creating the “Green Jobs/Green New York” program, which aims to make 1,000,000 homes, businesses, and not-for-profits in New York more energy efficient. Workforce development and job training constitutes the second pillar of the program, which aims to create 14,000 jobs.