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Policy Library

Increasing Utility Energy Efficiency Creates Green Jobs and Saves Consumers Money

Utilities have substantial power to set rates and determine energy choices for consumers, making them essential to state efforts to reduce pollution and promote clean energy choices. States can take action to reduce costs through strong utility energy efficiency laws, which set ambitious energy efficiency targets for utilities. The Utility Energy Efficiency Act tasks utilities with increasing efficiency and preventing energy waste. States with these goals have seen billions in savings, along with growth in the green energy sector.

The National Landscape

Passed in:

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin

In The News

“'Energy efficiency is a cost-effective and reliable resource that deserves to be a significant part of every state’s energy portfolio,’ said Annie Downs, ACEEE state policy research analyst. ‘Setting energy efficiency targets is smart policy that encourages utilities to help their customers save money…instead of spending even more money building unnecessary new power plants.'”
“America fails to capture some two-thirds of the power it generates, much of it through simple waste, according to federal data. In a recent survey, the United States was ranked eighth among 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries in efficiency.”
Albuquerque Journal
Celebrating energy efficiency
“We know that reliable, affordable energy is vital to our economic prosperity — and efficiency gives New Mexico a big assist in that regard. Cutting energy waste saves U.S. consumers hundreds of dollars on their utility bills annually...”

Partners

  • Consumers
  • Environmental advocates
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors
  • Utilities with proper support

Opposition

  • Proponents of deregulation
Call us for real-time support using this library, problem-solving tips, and follow-up from our team of national experts:
The State Line
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FAQ

Who does this help?
Inefficient energy production and consumption costs Americans billions each year, which shows up on their monthly electric bills. Additionally, consumers are impacted through harmful side effects of energy production such as air pollution. This proposal helps consumers and all state residents impacted by mitigated environmental impacts.
Is this high cost to the state?
The energy savings and benefits of energy efficiency programs lead to net gains for states and consumers from these programs. Massachusetts estimates that its efficiency programs created $12.5 billion in savings and benefits between 2008 and 2015.
Won’t all this regulation hurt utility companies?
No, saving energy through efficiency improvements is cheaper than building new power plants and well-structured programs in states have allowed efficiency targets to benefit utilities, customers and the environment alike.
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Model Policy

SECTION 1 (TITLE):
This act shall be known as the Utility Energy Efficiency Act.

SECTION 2 (PURPOSE):
To encourage energy providers and utilities to save money and reduce waste by increasing utility and provider energy efficiency.

SECTION 3 (PROVISIONS):

(a) It is the goal of STATE to encourage energy sources that are reliable and cost effective. For this reason, energy providers and utilities in STATE are responsible for:
  • (i) Ensuring a yearly incremental increase of at least 2% in energy savings from efficiency and conservation initiatives; and
  • (ii) First meeting unmet resource demands through any available method of efficiency or conservation that is reliable and cost effective.

(b) Energy providers and utilities shall take any and all reasonable steps necessary to meet these obligations and report on actions taken and results in an annual report submitted to DEPARTMENT.

(c) An energy provider or utility’s energy savings resulting from energy efficiency programs implemented before the effective date of this Act may be credited towards the first 2% savings obligation.

(d) DEPARTMENT shall promulgate all necessary regulations to enact the above and produce an annual report to be delivered the legislature and posted online regarding progress and performance of energy providers and utilities to meet the above, and highlighting best practices and additional legislative steps needed to help utilities and energy providers meet the above standards.