Case Studies of Utility-Led Energy Efficiency Programs that Encourage Systems-Level Approaches to Energy Savings
As utilities face increasingly ambitious energy efficiency and emissions goals and targets, a focus on building systems – rather than individual components – is critical for utilities to achieve deeper savings. A systems approach considers interactions among components of various building systems (e.g., heating and cooling systems, lighting systems, miscellaneous electric loads), as well as interactions between buildings, among multiple buildings, and with the electric grid.
Utility energy efficiency programs across the United States can build on their traditional rebate programs for equipment by also offering incentives that encourage more integrated, smarter design and operation of building systems. The programs selected for these case studies, highlighted below, exemplify this new approach, and offer lessons on program design, engaging diverse stakeholders, and evaluating benefits for other utilities and organizations designing similar programs.
- Baltimore Gas & Electric’s Combined Heat and Power Program offers financial incentives, technical support, and peer-to-peer learning experiences to guide customers through both the design and early implementation phases of their combined heat and power (CHP) projects.
- Efficiency Vermont’s Continuous Energy Improvement Program empowers customers to achieve energy savings through behavioral changes, operational adjustments, and technical guidance for equipment upgrades.
- Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management Program teaches customers best energy management practices while providing financial incentives for energy savings achieved.
- Entergy Arkansas’s Large Commercial and Industrial Program offers comprehensive technical support alongside tiered financial incentives to reward customers who pursue multiple energy efficiency measures.
- Seattle City Light’s Deep Retrofit Pay for Performance Program offers technical support as well as financial incentive options that reward demonstrated building energy savings at the meter.
- Xcel Energy’s Process Efficiency Program provides comprehensive guidance and technical support to encourage participants to improve the efficiency of their industrial processes.
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Getting Beyond Widgets Project explores the potential for energy reductions and cost savings from “packaging” systems-level energy efficiency measures.
Find out more about the key summaries and takeaways from the case studies.