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 Cost-recovery systems for many U.S. investor-owned utilities are based on an outdated model that ties higher returns for shareholders to producing more energy.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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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.
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Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


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.

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

 


 
09/12/2014

Researchers have found the main factors that influence the amount and type of building damage caused by various types of salts. 

09/11/2014

A new study has demonstrated that proactive ergonomic training can decrease worker discomfort and increase productivity. 

09/10/2014

The University of Utah has upgraded its historic Dumke Health Professions Education building to save an impressive 40% on energy costs.

09/09/2014

Hoping to build on LEED's success, PEER evaulates the performance and modernization of electric grids. 

09/08/2014

The USGBC has developed a new tool to help streamline the LEED certification process. 

09/05/2014

Researchers have developed a fluorescent lamp that emits Wi-Fi signals to allow connectivity throughout buildings.

09/04/2014

Tests show effective measures for reducing earthquake damage to computer servers. 

09/03/2014

Health costs drop by half as a result of environmental regulations.

09/02/2014

A new study challenges the idea that sparse workplaces produce happier, more productive employees.

08/29/2014

New tool from FEMA helps facility managers prepare for and mitigate the effects of nonstructural earthquake damage. 

08/28/2014

Is your building's exterior prepared for consistent snowstorms?

08/27/2014

Researchers have developed wearable, customizable technology to handle access control at busy hotels. 

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.

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