A new study co-sponsored by IEE, an Institute of the Edison Foundation, found that electric utility efficiency programs saved 107 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in 2011, enough to power over 11 million U.S. homes for one year. In addition, the study, Summary of Utility Customer-Funded Electric Efficiency Savings, Expenditures, and Budgets (2011-2012), revealed that U.S. customer-funded electric efficiency expenditures totaled over $5.7 billion in 2011, an 18 percent increase from 2010 levels.
In three states, 2011 electric efficiency expenditures more than doubled from their 2010 levels. In looking at U.S. customer-funded budgets for electric efficiency, the study showed that in 2012, budgets totaled $6.9 billion.
“Electric utilities are by far the largest energy-efficiency providers in the U.S.,” said Lisa Wood, IEE Executive Director. “They comprised 86 percent of the total customer-funded electric efficiency expenditures nationwide in 2011.”
The study shows that states with energy efficiency resource standards and regulatory frameworks that support utilities in their efforts to pursue electric efficiency as a sustainable business tend to be leaders in providing electric efficiency.
“Given that state energy efficiency resource standards are established in half of all U.S. states, covering two-thirds of the nation’s population, and that several of these standards have scheduled increases, we believe that customer funded electric efficiency budgets are highly likely to exceed $14 billion by 2025, up from about $7 billion in 2012,” added Wood.
The study’s results are based on data collected by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and IEE from 169 organizations—155 electric and combined electric and gas utilities, and 14 non-utility energy efficiency administrators—in the U.S.