08/25/14 :

Alliance Utility Associates Rank in Top Ten on Energy Efficiency

Utilities are ramping up energy efficiency efforts.

Four utility associates of the Alliance to Save Energy  — San Diego Gas & Electric (Sempra) and Alliance founder-level members PG&ESouthern California Edison (Edison International) and National Grid — were ranked in the Top 10 for both cumulative and incremental annual energy efficiency savings in a recent report by Ceres and Clean Edge. We are proud to name these utilities among the elite group of our associates, and we applaud them for taking leadership roles in the utility sector and we look forward to continuing our work with them to further the adoption of energy efficiency measures.

Benchmarking Utility Clean Energy Deployment: 2014 assembles data from more than 10 sources, including state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) annual reports, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K filings and Public Utility Commission reports. The report benchmarked 32 of the largest U.S. investor-owned electric utility holding companies on three indicators: 1) renewable energy sales, or the total amount of retail renewable electricity sold, including Renewable Energy Credits retired by the utility; 2) cumulative annual energy efficiency savings, including savings from projects that were implemented in prior years and were still saving energy in 2012; and 3) incremental annual energy efficiency savings, or the energy savings from new programs or new participants in existing programs.

Energy Efficiency Rankings

The Ceres report ranks utilities on efficiency in two ways:  “cumulative annual energy efficiency savings” and "incremental annual energy efficiency savings.” Cumulative annual energy efficiency savings is the sum of energy savings from all active programs in 2012, but also includes savings from previous programs that continued to produce energy savings. The top five utility companies in cumulative annual energy efficiency savings all realized energy savings in excess of 10% of their individual sales, which is a significant amount, but the average percentage for all 32 utilities was just below 5%, indicating there are still plenty of opportunities for further savings. When combined, the 32 utilities ranked by Ceres saved over 110 million MWh from energy efficiency programs in 2012.

Utility CompanyRankCumulative Annual EE Savings as a % of 2012 Electric SalesCumulative Annual EE Savings (MWh)
PG&E117.1814,917,724
Southern California Edison (Edison International)216.8714,592,839
Northeast Utilities318.469,138,285
SDG&E (Sempra Energy)412.542,511,666
Xcel Energy510.629,475,396

Although cumulative values provide important information, they only show part of the picture. The cumulative rankings favor the largest utilities and those that have been involved in energy efficiency the longest, because both of those factors offer more opportunities to save energy. The use of incremental annual energy efficiency savings, which considers savings from new programs or new participants in older programs in a given year, highlights the utilities that have increased energy efficiency savings the most from the previous year.

Utility CompanyRankIncremental Annual EE Savings as a % of 2012 Electric SalesIncremental Annual Energy Savings (MWh)
Pinnacle West11.77499,239
SDG&E (Sempra Energy)21.67335,413
Portland General Electric31.47282,335
Puget Sound Energy41.47339,490
Northeast Utilities51.46812,879
Alliance associates took four of the top five spots in cumulative energy savings, and five of the top ten spots in incremental savings.

These utilities have increased their individual savings from energy efficiency by approximately 1.5% from the previous year. However, as these values only represent the improvements in energy efficiency savings for 2012, it does not take into account any efforts made by the utility beforehand. Large incremental gains may have occurred because energy efficiency programs had previously been non-existent.

PG&E

  • Ranked #1 in cumulative energy savings, and #8 in incremental savings.

San Diego Gas & Electric (Sempra Energy)

  • Ranked #3 in cumulative energy savings, and #2 in incremental savings.

Southern California Edison (Edison International)

  • Ranked #2 in cumulative energy savings, and #6 in incremental savings.

National Grid

  • Ranked #5 in cumulative energy savings, and #9 in incremental savings.
We need more leaders

Utilities face many challenges in today’s market. However, utilities are not passive recipients of policy, they are vocal participants in policy creation, influencing whether and what kinds of energy efficiency policies are implemented in states and at the federal level.

The Alliance is proud to partner with a number of these leaders on energy efficiency, and we look forward to working with these utilities as well as others on this list to achieve a more energy productive future.