Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Report: Best rural electric co-ops in states where legislation enacted to meet efficiency targets

The best rural energy efficiency programs are in states such as Minnesota and Iowa, which "have enacted legislation directing rural electric cooperatives and generation and transmissions to fund demand side management and/or meet energy savings and peak load reduction requirements," states a report by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. "In addition to the impacts of legislation, these states and G&Ts have developed a collaborative program infrastructure that helps to design and implement effective programs on a statewide or regional basis." (Southwest Energy Efficiency Project graphic)
In other states, such programs "are a mixed bag when it comes to energy efficiency, largely depending on whether state policy directs co-ops to meet efficiency targets," Robert Walton reports for Utility Drive. The report "does not broadly call out rural electrical cooperatives for efficiency failings, but it highlights weaknesses at a handful of power providers and suggests policy changes could push greater energy savings."

The report states: "The data demonstrates that in states where cooperatives are regulated by EERS, with the exception of Arizona, cooperatives achieve maximum savings levels at 1.00 percent or higher." The report found that "in states with a strong collective program design and implementation infrastructure, whether sponsored by a state or created by a group of cooperatives working together, 'cooperatives have saved more than those states where rural electric cooperatives develop and operate programs independently.'"

"Energy Central reports on the report's recommendations, including states taking legislative action to bolster efficiency efforts at cooperatives and using an integrated resource planning process to push energy saving initiatives," Walton writes. "Effective programs leadership and an emphasis on least-cost resources are also keys to promoting efficiency, the report found."

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