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 Cost-recovery systems for many U.S. investor-owned utilities are based on an outdated model that ties higher returns for shareholders to producing more energy.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
07/02/2015

Sustainable parking leaders recognized.

07/01/2015

Design ‘scatters’ sound without affecting aerodynamics.

06/30/2015

Survey shows lack of concrete commitment to efficiency improvements.

06/29/2015

Guideline will protect building water systems.

06/26/2015

Development could mitigate urban heat island effect.

06/25/2015

New web application can identify energy savings opportunities.

06/24/2015

Report shows refrigerants could reduce GHG emissions, energy use.

06/23/2015

Sustainable design tied to strong financial performance.

06/22/2015

Human wellbeing guidelines grow throughout North America.

06/19/2015

Larger, private buildings now included in rankings.

06/18/2015

Diversion rates increase nearly 10% in 2013.

06/17/2015
Study shows lack of preparedness, suggests improvements to increase resiliency.
06/15/2015

Surveyed workers feel unsafe, doubt employer readiness for weather events. 

06/12/2015

Better Buildings Challenge improvements demonstrate energy savings.

06/11/2015

New technology provides privacy and sunlight.

06/10/2015

Program will provide best practices, green certification for landscape design.

06/09/2015

Improve recycling up to 20% with an easy switch.

06/08/2015

OSHA and Health Canada to improve hazard communications for worker safety.

06/04/2015

Lighting, building automation retrofits show highest rate of return.

06/03/2015

New OSHA guide to ensure fair treatment, safe working conditions.

Page 1 of 54
FirstPrevious[1]2345678910NextLast

Sponsored Links