BOSTON — The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) recently released its 12th annual Industry Report, which showcased growth in  energy efficiency and demand response investments.

“Amid the uncertainty in federal investment, this report indicates that demand side management [DSM] investment at the state and program level continues strong with a modest uptick in 2016 expenditures and 2017 budgets, said Ed Wisniewski, executive director, CEE. “What the report does not capture is that a significant program presence over an extended duration apparently produces a powerful public benefits platform that can be leveraged to serve the growing complexities and obligations of today’s utilities. Accordingly, future reports will attempt to capture the extent to which DSM investments are deployed with the intent of supporting additional regulatory imperatives for climate, distributed generation, and system resiliency objectives.”

Total expenditures from all funding sources on gas and electric DSM programs in 2016 rose 2 percent in 2016 over 2015 reaching $8.8 billion. Highlights of the report include:

  • Ratepayers contributed $8.5 billion of the $8.8 billion total. Other sources of funding included wholesale capacity market revenues, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and the Weatherization Assistance Program.
  • CEE members directed 79 percent of expenditures, nearly $7 billion from all sources, and 78 percent of expenditures from ratepayer funds, approximately $6.6 billion.
  • Electric efficiency programs in the United States and Canada spent $7.4 billion to reduce energy use by an estimated gross savings of 30,166 GWh.
  • Natural gas program expenditures were $1.4 billion from all sources. Incremental savings reported reached 522 million therms.
  • 2017 DSM program budgets increased seven percent compared to 2016, reversing a trend of declines seen over the past two survey years and suggesting continued high expenditures.
  • In 2017, U.S. and Canadian administrators reported that their demand response programs reduced demand by 41,468 MW in 2016 with programs in the South (57 percent of savings) and West (29 percent) accounting for the majority of these savings.
  • 25.9 million metric tons of CO2 emissions were avoided by gas and electric demand side management programs in 2016.

The CEE has a 27-year history of working together on voluntary binational initiatives, explorations, and positions, of which the CEE Annual Industry Report is one, to advance the demand-side management industry. Continuing investments in energy efficiency and demand response are a testament to the attractiveness of demand-side management as a clean energy resource with many social and utility benefits.

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Publication date: 03/27/18