Industry News




06/04/2013

Why Don't More Utilities Push Energy Efficiency?

 
Current rate structures incentivize utilities for selling more energy, not for building efficiency programs.

Utilities in many states are rewarded for selling more energy, requiring reforms to incentivize energy efficiency, according to a new study from Oregon State University.

Recently published in Environmental Law, the study profiles key differences between how utilities address energy efficiency projects and renewable resources.

“We need to start addressing efficiency as we do renewable energy – by looking at it systematically and removing the barriers,” explains author Inara Scott, assistant professor at Oregon State and a former lawyer specializing in energy and regulatory law.

Four key recommendations could help make energy efficiency programs more attractive to utilities and ultimately benefit consumers:

1) Reorganize rate structures. Cost-recovery systems for many U.S. investor-owned utilities are based on an outdated model that ties higher returns for shareholders to producing more energy. Utilities with this model are then penalized for selling less energy if they encourage customers to adopt energy-efficient practices and products. To solve this problem, states can use ratemaking mechanisms to separate utility sales from revenues and establish performance incentives for efficiency programs.

2) Set targets and stick to them. Oregon aims to obtain 25% of its energy supply from renewables by 2025, a goal easily adopted by other states.

3) Streamline cost-effectiveness tests. This will be difficult, Scott cautions, because there is no one simple, accurate way to measure energy efficiency. “You’re trying to measure energy you didn’t use, so you’re measuring something that doesn’t exist,” Scott explains.

Some tests do exist, but they are so complicated that they can actually discourage utilities from building energy efficiency programs. However, Scott notes, conducting assessments on individual programs, streamlining test precision, and considering developing national standards will help.

4) Address market barriers. Colorado and Michigan are just two of the states that have increased the size of incentives for consumers to participate in energy efficiency programs – in some cases, participants are reimbursed for 100% of their investment. Better marketing efforts are needed to make customers more aware of incentives.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality. 

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality. 

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
comments powered by Disqus
09/03/2015

Arizona installation will provide 210 MW of renewable energy.

09/02/2015

Standard to create uniformity, common content for rating programs.

09/01/2015

Guidelines to improve safety of waterways.

08/31/2015

Occupant improvements help recruit new talent.

08/28/2015

Temperatures reach highest point since 1880.

08/27/2015

Large improvements drive water conservation on West Coast.

08/26/2015

Data breaches becoming more common.

08/25/2015

Research shows link between extreme weather events and long power disruptions.

08/24/2015

Specifications to improve wall resiliency.

08/21/2015

New resource can help FMs create scope of custodial work.

08/20/2015

Rule created to stem Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

08/19/2015

Portable devices encourage sedentary workers to exercise while seated.

08/18/2015

PACE program to drive building improvements.

08/17/2015

Survey shows management systems can streamline work order process.

08/14/2015

Tool will help schools improve air quality.

08/13/2015

Proposed ASHRAE rule to improve communication about energy consumption, forecasts.

08/12/2015

Installations rise as electricity costs drop to an all-time low.

08/11/2015

Linear, low-bay/high-bay LEDs spotlighted as best choices for commercial retrofits.

08/10/2015

Wind, solar set for big increases.

08/07/2015

New requirement will cut food waste.

Page 1 of 56
FirstPrevious[1]2345678910NextLast

Sponsored Links