Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Date: 14 Jan 2009 | posted in: Energy | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Energy efficiency is a clearly demonstrated, cost-effective means to meet future electricity needs. States that implemented electric restructuring have set up policies to finance energy-efficiency improvements for residents and businesses. Regulated states have been moving toward policies that use to require a certain amount of expenditures on efficiency by utilities toward policies that require a certain amount of energy savings.

Initially many of the financing mechanisms – usually additional charges on utility bills – for efficiency programs were to be discontinued after five years or so. And funding levels for the efficiency programs have typically been set at low levels compared to the peak years of spending on efficiency.

Withthe electric power crisis of 2001, many states are re-thinking this strategy and have begun to take a second look at the enormous benefits that energy efficient technologies can have on the economy and the environment. In early 2001, New York’s Public Service Commission voted unanimously this morning to extend energy efficiency and energy assistance programs (commonly referred to as public benefit programs)for 5 more years at an annual level of funding of $150 million which is approximately twice the level for the past three years but still below peak spending of 1994. New Jersey has also comitted to increased spending of 70 percent over current levels and California also has aggressive efficiency goals.

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John Farrell
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John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.