Washington D.C., February 3, 2010 — Electric utility energy efficiency budgets grew by 60 percent over the past two years, reaching $4 billion in 2009 — up from $2.5 billion in 2007.
This is according to a new report by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, published in collaboration with the Institute for Electric Efficiency and the American Gas Association.
The report also found electric utilities and other electric efficiency organizations saved about 96 billion kWh of electricity in 2008 — the most recent data available.
This is enough to power almost 7.4 million U.S. homes for one year. In terms of environmental impact, these savings avoided the generation of more than 58 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2008.
Lisa Wood, IEE Executive Director, said, “The jump in electric utility budgets for energy efficiency is very impressive, especially a $1.2 billion increase from 2008 to 2009. Behind this trend toward bigger energy efficiency budgets is the progress that electric utilities and state regulators are making in turning energy efficiency into a sustainable and scalable business for utilities.”
Wood said about half the states now have either a method to compensate the utility for the sales it loses as a result of encouraging energy efficiency, or some form of financial incentive that puts energy efficiency on par with other investments made by the utility, or both.
“These factors enable electric utilities to aggressively reach all electricity consumers–from small residentials to large industrials–with their energy efficiency programs,” she said. “And, as the CEE report confirms, this can produce significant energy savings.”
The CEE comprises energy efficiency program administrators from virtually all of the electric utilities in the U.S. and many in Canada, as well as other energy efficiency administrators.