Delivering the Public Goods: New Study Documents Success of State Public Benefits Energy Efficiency Policies

April 14, 2004

Media Contact(s):

Wendy Koch, 202-507-4753, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

Washington, D.C. — The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is pleased to announce the publication of its new report, Five Years In: An Examination of the First Half-Decade of Public Benefits Energy Efficiency Policies, a comprehensive national review of utility sector "public benefits" energy efficiency policies. Such policies have been adopted in twenty states around the country, and are providing nearly $1 billion per year in funding for programs to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses in those participating states.

The available data suggest that these energy efficiency programs have been very cost-effective, with a median "benefit-to-cost ratio" of over two to one, and a median cost to save a kilowatt-hour of electricity of 3.0 cents (less than half the cost of building, fueling, and operating a typical conventional power plant).

"The study's results demonstrate that state public benefits policies supporting energy efficiency programs have been very successful," stated Dr. Martin Kushler, lead author of the study and ACEEE's Utilities Program Director. "Not only are these policies producing cost-effective energy savings, but utilities, state agencies, and nonprofit advocacy groups rated these policies very positively during our interviews."

Steven Nadel, ACEEE's Executive Director, observed: "Rising energy costs and shaky reliability are critical concerns for many Americans. This study provides important information on states that have established successful policies and funding mechanisms for energy efficiency. We recommend that other states, and the federal government, give serious consideration to these public benefits policies."

The main body of the report can be downloaded for free or ordered in hard copy for $30 at http://aceee.org/pubs/u041.htm. In addition, two lengthy appendices provide detailed state-by-state descriptive information on public benefits policies and their results. This material illustrates how states have successfully utilized a wide variety of administrative structures and delivery mechanisms to implement these energy efficiency policies. For $65, the full report including the appendices also may be purchased at http://aceee.org/pubs/u042.htm. For more information, contact ACEEE Publications, 529 14th Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045, phone: 202-507-4000, fax: 202-429-2248, e-mail: aceee_publications@aceee.org.