The Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region has shown strong progress in delivering energy efficiency programs with greater investment and more aggressive saving goals. As noted in our 2012 Regional Roundup, several states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont have approved multi-year electric and gas energy efficiency plans aiming to continue capture all cost-effective efficiency.
I put together an overview of the 2013 energy efficiency plans for the New England states that highlights what we can expect in terms of benefits of costs. The above presentation breaks down program budgets, forecasted savings levels, and compares state programs by sector where such data was available. Below are a few observations worth noting:
- Investment continues to rise as a result of the policy commitments the states have made, with efficiency program budgets will grow to over $1 billion this year, almost three times their levels in 2007.
- Savings levels will continue to rise as well, reaching over 22 million MWh for electric programs and 445 million therms for gas programs over the life of the measures.
- Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont continue to be the leading states, with savings targets reaching two percent of electric use and one percent of natural gas consumption. Commercial and Industrial programs account for the majority of electric savings, but natural gas programs are more balanced between residential and C&I sectors.
- Lifetime program costs will average about 3.7 cents/kWh for electric programs and about 52 cents/therm for natural gas programs. Benefit-cost ratios vary significantly, averaging 2.91 for electric programs and 1.72 for natural gas programs.
Given that benefit-cost ratios of these efficiency programs are greater than 1 and production costs less than a third of the cost of new supply, there is a strong argument in supporting the region’s strong stride toward greater investment in energy efficiency. Nevertheless, policymakers and program administrators must embrace innovative approaches in their planning and delivery of these programs moving forward in order to maintain the current positive momentum.
By Tung Huynh, Public Policy Intern