The ship has come in for the Bay State when it comes to energy efficiency efforts by utilities, according to a new nationwide report.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s first-ever Utility Scorecard has the Massachusetts wings of two utilities–Eversource Energy and National Grid–tied for first place. The ACEEE report ranked 51 utilities nationwide for their variety and impact of energy efficiency programs.
“Energy efficiency transforms how we live and work, and it is exciting for our company to be a part of this process,” said Eversource vice president of energy efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian in a statement. “Massachusetts and Connecticut are national leaders in energy efficiency and embrace our solutions because of the proven economic, environmental and cost-saving benefits to our customers and the region. It is not only an honor to be recognized; it is a testament to our customers and communities who participate in our programs and recognize the value of energy efficiency.”
Massachusetts has aggressively sought advanced energy reduction and budgeted more than $500 million annually on measures to achieve those goals, according to reports. In fact, nine of the utilities are in states which finished in the top 10 of ACEEE’s earlier state energy efficiency scorecard.
“This really highlights the importance of state and regulatory support for efficiency,” said Grace Relf, lead author on the report.
Rounding out the top 11 ranked by ACEEE were Pacific Gas & Electric, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Eversource Connecticut, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Commonwealth Edison, Portland General Electric and the Xcel Energy units in Colorado and Minnesota.
Baltimore Gas & Electric (now owned by Exelon) achieved a reported best peak demand savings of 2.54 percent. Relf credited the home state Empower Maryland Smart Energy Savers program with helping make possible the energy efficiency successes by BG&E.
Southern California Edison also was lauded for trying new things, including 12 different pilot projects in 2015. Xcel Minnesota drove to the front of the ACEEE’s ratings on electric vehicle integration because it offered extensive educational material and three different rate structures for EV owners–peak demand pricing, time of use and general residential rates.
“They had 456 subscribers to their time-of-use rates, much higher than a lot of utilities included in the scorecard,” Relf said. “And this indicates to me that their extensive education on website may encourage customers to take advantage of that rate option.”
She also championed the utilities which offered energy efficiency programs to low-income customers.
“These programs are especially important because low income customer can often benefit more than others from improve home health and lower electric bills,” Relf said. “These programs also provide good savings opportunities for the utilities.”
Not all utilities fared as well in ACEEE’s summation. The bottom 11 included City of San Antonio and Jersey City Power and Light (tie), Public Service Electric & Gas, Duke Indiana, Georgia Power, Duke Florida, Ohio Edison, Florida Power & Light, Entergy Louisiana, Dominion Energy and Alabama Power.
Washington D.C.-based ACEEE was founded in 1980.