This is a guest post by Adam Scheer (Recurve), Jake Millette and Olivia Patterson (Opinion Dynamics), and Julie Michals (E4TheFuture)
Driven by advancing technologies and by policies that are evolving to both mitigate and adapt to climate change, the energy industry is changing at a breakneck pace. On the demand side, our fundamental challenge is moving beyond siloed programs into scaled demand flexibility to achieve states’ priorities such as grid resilience, resource adequacy, and decarbonization, amidst increasing electrification. Critically, scaling distributed energy resources (DERs) to meet a host of policy goals will require that we leverage limited ratepayer dollars to cultivate as much energy efficiency (EE) and other DER investment as possible. The question is: are cost-effectiveness (CE) testing practices developed decades ago adequate to guide our industry investments today? In our experience, legacy CE practices are inhibiting both innovative program designs and commonsense best practices for putting ratepayer dollars to optimal use.