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 Cost-recovery systems for many U.S. investor-owned utilities are based on an outdated model that ties higher returns for shareholders to producing more energy.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

 

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Need portable cooling?

Rent or buy spot coolers from full-service locations nationwide. On call “24/7”. Primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc., or call (800) 972-6600.

Click here for more info


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.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

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.


 
08/26/2014

A new study shows that hotels which are LEED certified bring in more revenue than their non-certified competitors. 

08/25/2014

Policies designed to reduce carbon emissions have the added benefit of increasing air quality, which could pay for the reduction policies themselves. 

08/22/2014

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a luminescent solar concentrator that is as transparent as glass. 

08/21/2014

The Department of Energy has released two reports which indicate wind turbine installations and efficiency is growing while prices drop. 

08/20/2014

The NHL has partnered with the NRDC to release their first sustainability report. 

08/19/2014

A new battery has been developed that is free of toxic materials and longer lasting than its more expensive competitors.

08/14/2014

A new study shows that emergency communications that don't specify the threat could be doing more harm than good.

08/13/2014

Natural light's benefits to workers extend far beyond the workday.

08/12/2014

Will a "Little Box" change the future of electricity?

08/07/2014

Could your building withstand an F3 tornado repeatedly?

08/06/2014

Make sure your conference room is properly outfitted with a projection system that meets your occupants' needs.

08/04/2014

The update to the Building Energy Quotient program includes more building types and a new methodology to measure "In Operation" buildings.

07/31/2014

Improper lockdown security may leave your building and occupants vulnerable

07/29/2014

Is the American energy policy lagging behind the rest of the world?

07/22/2014

How to keep building occupants safe during the hot season.

07/21/2014

Spaces grow denser as the industry emerges from a slump.

07/18/2014

Study ranks states on fuel and consumption.

07/16/2014

Enhance cleaning practices at your educational facilities.

07/11/2014

Tenants have low tolerance for even one pest sighting, a new survey reveals.

07/10/2014

Battery installations will fuel federal research.

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