Energy efficiency

Water Utilities Are Starting to Take Their Own Conservation Advice

Read the full story in Governing.

Wastewater treatment plants are often the biggest consumers of electricity in their areas. Gresham, Ore., and Washington, D.C., are making moves to change that.

Why Energy Efficiency is About to Come Roaring Back

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

We write a lot of stories these days about the remarkable growth of solar and wind power and how they are truly transforming the energy landscape. Another important component of this sea change is energy efficiency (EE), though we haven’t been writing as much about that, perhaps because it’s not as sexy and exciting as shiny new solar panels or towering wind turbines. But there is another reason: Investment in energy efficiency projects has been in a long-term decline, going back to a peak of about $2 billion annually in 1992, which has drifted down to about $1.2 billion in recent years…

Chris Hummel, chief marketing officer of Schneider Electric, thinks that all of that is about to change. After ticking off some $7 billion in new financing going into efficiency from state banks in Europe and the U.S., he told the Guardian the reasons why energy efficiency is about to come roaring back.

Successful Practices in Combined Gas and Electric Utility Energy Efficiency Programs

Download the document.

Compared to single-fuel programs, combined natural gas and electric energy efficiency programs often deliver additional energy and dollar savings at lower cost to utilities and consumers. They also enhance customer satisfaction. Many leading dual-fuel programs demonstrate these benefits. This report presents successful examples of combined natural gas and electric programs—residential, commercial, and industrial—in every region of the country in which there are both types of programs.

Historically, electric and natural gas utilities have operated energy efficiency programs independently. State regulators have typically focused on each electric and gas utility as a separate entity. Challenges and barriers to creating combined and integrated programs include utility concerns about cross-fuel competition, the administrative effort involved, regulatory barriers and questions of program design and implementation.

Top-performing states in terms of utility program energy savings tend to have laws and regulations supporting combined programs. This report presents excerpts from statutes and regulations in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The authors share lessons learned and illustrate successful approaches within four institutional arrangements: combination utilities, integrated statewide programs, third-party administrators, and programs coordinated between separate utilities. ACEEE recommends that states adopt clear policies advancing integrated gas and electric programs, and that utility and other program administrators reaching for higher levels of cost-effective energy savings pursue these opportunities.

In-depth profiles of 16 programs describe program organization and structure, report on performance, address the motivations for collaboration, and share lessons learned.

How to brew beer better: Less water, less energy, more innovation

In the latest P2 Impact column for GreenBiz, Paula Del Giudice highlights the changes that breweries are making to reduce their environmental footprint.

You can view previous P2 Impact columns here.