At regulated utilities across the United States, energy efficiency efforts are driving down energy usage and saving money for ratepayers. The Consortium for Energy Efficiency estimated that utilities spent $4.5 billion on these programs in 2011, resulting in residential electricity savings of over 14 TWh per year, equivalent to the consumption of 1.25 million U.S. homes. These savings have been achieved primarily by providing incentives for one-time technology investments, such as more efficient appliances or better windows, lighting and HVAC systems. But technology is not the only way to save energy.
“We stand at the threshold of an enormous economic opportunity,” declared Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), as he opened the “Pathway to 2050” Conference in Sacramento on August 20. “We can’t wait for Washington to provide the answers. California must lead the way.”