Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Industrial, Utilities - June 19, 2017
ACEEE ranks best, worst utilities for energy efficiency
Which electric utilities are leading the way in energy efficiency programs for customers?
According to the first-ever scorecard on this topic from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Eversource Massachusetts and National Grid Massachusetts are the top performers, receiving the same score. The group's recently released 2017 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard evaluates the energy efficiency performance of the 51 largest electric utilities in the United States.
Released June 13, the scorecard reveals striking regional differences and identifies the best — and worst — performers on energy efficiency. Pacific Gas & Electric; Baltimore Gas & Electric; and Eversource Connecticut rounded out the top five.
ACEEE said in a blog post:
Utilities are the primary providers of energy efficiency programs for US electricity customers. These programs deliver enormous benefits to households and businesses. Efficiency lowers customer bills, allows utilities to avoid or defer building new power plants or other infrastructure, and reduces local pollutants associated with electricity generation. We wanted to dig further into this topic to determine which utilities are doing the best on energy efficiency programs and how others can improve. Typical programs encourage the purchase of efficient appliances, lighting, and heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) — both at home and in other places such as commercial kitchens and restaurants.
According to the group, leading utilities sometimes had 20 or more energy efficiency programs in place, and only a few were implementing advanced approaches such as promoting smart thermostats, residential geo-targeting or net zero energy buildings.
In general, utilities in the Northeast scored the highest, as evidenced by four of the top five utilities. The region, on average, earned 62% of ACEEE's total points. Next up was the West, earning 57%. The Southeast performed worst, and five of the 10 bottom utilities in the rankings are located there.
The bottom five utilities were Alabama Power, Dominion Energy, Entergy Louisiana, Florida Power & Light and Ohio Edison, according to the report. The group pointed to a number of key findings from the report on their blog, including:
- The top 10 invested a higher percentage of total revenue on energy efficiency. They spent an average of 6% of revenue on efficiency programs; the bottom 10 invested an average of 0.7%. The overall average was 2.7%.
- The 51 utilities, on average, used efficiency programs to reduce by 0.79% the peak demand for power, which is typically the costliest to generate.
- The most common efficiency programs were residential HVAC and industrial and commercial custom measures.
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