Demand side Efforts save 26M Tons of Carbon Pollution, CEE finds

Ratepayers in 2016 funded $8.5 billion worth of electric and gas demand-side management (DSM) efforts which helped utilities avoid nearly 26 million tons of carbon pollution, according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.

The CEE report, “State of the Efficiency Program Industry,” documented annual electric and natural gas demand side management (DSM) program budgets, expenditures, and impacts on the national and regional levels. CEE worked with the American Gas Association in the administration of this survey.

In 2016, combined spending on electric and gas DSM programs across the United States and Canada totaled over $8.8″‰billion from all sources and $8.5″‰billion from ratepayers. Industry expenditures are up two percent compared to 2015 spending from all sources and represent an 11 percent increase over the last five years.

U.S. and Canadian DSM ratepayer-funded programs are estimated to have saved approximately 30,166 GWh of electricity and 522″‰million therms in 2016, which represents 25.9″‰million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions.

Among ratepayer-funded DSM efforts at electric utilities, commercial and industrial programs accounted for 56 percent of total energy savings, the report reads. Residential savings was 42 percent of the overall mix.

Demand response programs run solely within the wholesale capacity market or run by ISOs are not captured in this report. US and Canadian program administrators did undertake demand response events in 2016, which, in total, curtailed demand by 41,000 MW. This highly variable number reflects the ability of utilities to adjust load through these programs.

Utilities in the south achieved 23,795 MW, the CEE findings for 2016 showed. That region accounted for 57 percent of capacity savings, while the West saved 12,041 MW through its combination of summer and no peak programs.

The report includes input from 306 utility and non-utility efficiency program administrators in the US and Canada. It can be accessed at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s website at

CEE members include investor-owned or municipal utilities, non-utility program administrators, and like-minded nonprofits.



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