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ACEEE

ACEEE State Scorecard
Top 10 States Ranked in Energy Efficiency Scorecard: MA, CA, NY, OR, CT, RI, VT, WA, MD, and IL
5 States Most Needing Improvement: ND, WY, SD, AK, MS
5 Most Improved States: MS, ME, KS, OH, and WV

WASHINGTON, D.C., (November 6, 2013): Energy efficiency measures are thriving in state capitals around the United States, with several states—including Mississippi, Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia—taking major steps that moved them up the ranks in the seventh annual edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). For the first time in the history of the State Scorecard, the 2013 ranking of the states is being released with the participation of a U.S. Department of Energy secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, along with a top elected official of a state, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Available online at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard, the State Scorecard shows that the top 10 states for energy efficiency are: Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Maryland, and Illinois. Massachusetts retains the top spot for the third year in a row based on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act. In California, requirements for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have led it to identify several strategies for smart growth, keeping the state in a top position at #2. Connecticut is also closing the gap due to passage of a major energy bill in 2013, and Illinois is making its first appearance in the top 10 this year, reaping the benefits of increased energy savings called for in the state’s energy efficiency resource standard.

According to the 2013 State Scorecard, the five states most in need of improvement (starting with dead last) are: North Dakota; Wyoming; South Dakota; Alaska; and Mississippi. However, Mississippi also appears on ACEEE’s list of the top five most improved states, revealing an upward trend as more and more states embrace energy efficiency. Last year Mississippi passed comprehensive energy legislation that included energy efficiency as a major component More Help. The bill included provisions setting an energy code for commercial and state-owned buildings. Mississippi is now set to become a regional leader in energy efficiency. West Virginia’s score improved due to the state adopting stronger building codes. The other three most improved states in 2013 were: Maine, Kansas, and Ohio.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz said: "Energy efficiency is a critical tool for cutting harmful carbon emissions and the best way to reduce energy bills for America’s families. We applaud the continued progress in energy efficiency nationwide and stand ready to help states as they make their communities cleaner and more sustainable, while saving taxpayer dollars and fostering greater economic growth."

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said: "Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in energy efficiency because we have made the choice to shape our future, rather than leave it to chance. We will continue to focus on policies that create jobs, decrease dependence on imported energy sources and protect our environment by reducing emissions."

ACEEE Executive Director Steve Nadel said: "In every region we are seeing states embrace energy saving measures with growing enthusiasm. From Massachusetts, which continues to be the pacesetter in the race to cut down energy waste, to Mississippi, which is emerging as a regional star, state governments are proving that smart policy can still cross partisan divides."

California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister said: "California continues earning its reputation as an energy leader by instituting the nation’s most advanced energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances, and for pushing the envelope on ratepayer-funded efficiency programs. Our standards alone have helped save ratepayers more than $75 billion since 1975, grown California’s economy with local jobs, and protected our climate by reducing carbon emissions. ACEEE is providing a valuable service by recognizing energy efficiency leaders that other states can follow. We are proud to be one of the leaders."

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner and Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Brandon Presley said: "Cutting down on energy waste has become an integral strategy for securing Mississippi’s energy future, and we are proud to become the most improved state in this year’s State Scorecard. Investing in energy efficiency helps utilities meet growing energy demand, provides reliable service for our customers, and produces economic benefits like energy cost savings. We look forward to seeing Mississippi emerge as a regional leader in tapping the vast economic benefits of energy efficiency."

In the seventh edition of the State Scorecard, ACEEE ranks states on their energy efficiency policy and program efforts, and provides recommendations for ways that states can improve their energy efficiency performance in a variety of policy areas. The State Scorecard report serves as a benchmark for state efforts on energy efficiency policies and programs each year, encouraging states to strengthen their efficiency commitments as a pragmatic and effective strategy for promoting economic growth, securing environmental benefits, and increasing their communities’ resilience in the face of uncertain energy costs and supplies.

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

Facing uncertain economic times, states are continuing to use energy efficiency as a key strategy to generate cost-savings, promote technological innovation, and stimulate growth. The ACEEE Scorecard documents the following trends:

  • Several states have made concentrated efforts related to energy efficiency. Arkansas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania continue to reap the benefits of their energy efficiency resource standards (EERS), leading to substantially greater electricity efficiency investments and savings compared to what ACEEE reported in the 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
  • A total of 20 states fell in the rankings in the 2013 State Scorecard report, due to both changes in the report’s methodology and substantive changes in their performance. Idaho fell the furthest, by nine spots, largely because it did not keep up with peer states in utility efficiency spending and savings. Wisconsin dropped six spots, due to a significant drop in energy savings realized by the state’s efficiency program.
  • Connecticut passed a major energy bill in June 2013, calling for the benchmarking of state buildings, expanding combined heat and power programs, and doubling funding for energy efficiency programs.
  • The leading states in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies are Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island. All three of these states have long records of success and continue to raise the bar on the delivery of cost-effective energy efficiency programs and policies.
  • The leading states in building energy codes and compliance are California, Washington, and Rhode Island. During the past year, seven states adopted the latest iteration of building energy codes.

METHODOLOGY

The 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard provides a broad assessment of policies and programs that improve energy efficiency in our homes, businesses, industries, and transportation systems. The State Scorecard examines the six policy areas in which states typically pursue energy efficiency: utility and "public benefits" programs and policies; transportation polices; building energy codes and compliance; combined heat and power policies; appliance and equipment standards; and state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency.

ABOUT ACEEE

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit http://aceee.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell at (703) 276-3266 or pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com; and Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or aawolf@hastingsgroup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard, an electronic copy of the ACEEE 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard report and a high-resolution image of the ACEEE "logo" will be made available upon request on November 6, 2013.


ACEEE 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard:

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

September 5, 2013

Dave Fehling
StateImpact

Big Brown power plant in Freestone County

Big Brown power plant in Freestone County

As the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) considers changing the electricity market so there’s more money to build new power plants, a mystery has popped up: why aren’t Texans using as much electricity as predicted?

"There’s something that’s been going on recently with the forecasts, which affects a lot of things," said PUC commissioner Kenneth Anderson at the commission’s open meeting last week.

Who Turned the Lights Out?

Anderson said forecasts from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) had predicted electricity demand would increase in 2013 by 2.1 percent.
In reality?

"It’s been barely one percent, if it’s even hit one percent," Anderson said.

Over at ERCOT where there’s a mission-control-style room used to monitor the flow of electricity around the state moment-by-moment, analysts are scratching their heads trying to figure out why they can’t make more accurate predictions year-to-year.

"It’s really hard to piece out, we don’t have that analysis done yet," said Warren Lasher, head of ERCOT’s systems planning.

Lasher said usually the non-farm employment numbers are a reliable indicator of how much more power will be used in homes, offices and factories. Employment in Texas is up by 2.7 percent compared to one year ago.

ERCOT's grid center in Taylor where controllers make daily forecasts of the next day's electric demand and supply down to every five minutes.

ERCOT’s grid center in Taylor where controllers make daily forecasts of the next day’s electric demand and supply down to every five minutes.

What’s more, oil and gas exploration and production is surging, gobbling up so much electricity that there are price spikes in West Texas. In homes, there are more big screen TVs, computers, and maybe even a car plugged-in to charge overnight.

And yet, the state’s power useage has increased only half what was predicted.

It’s quite the conundrum for ERCOT’s analysts.

"There’s a lot of different things going on," said Lasher. He said demand may have been decreased by fewer 100 degree days, higher peak prices for electricity, and customers utilizing "demand response" measures like curtailing energy use during peak times.

Lasher said ERCOT is updating its forecasting models.

"I think you’ll see those improvements when the next load forecast is released," said Lasher.

Why Forecasting Matters

Forecasting future demand for electricity is one factor in play as Texas considers whether it’s energy market that was "deregulated" in 2002 is failing to attract enough investment in new power plants.

Mike Hogan, former power company executive.

Mike Hogan, former power company executive.

"It’s way too soon to say the Texas market has been a failure. It’s probably too soon to say it’s been a success. But certainly a lot of eyes of the world are on Texas right now to see what Texas is going to do in this situation because it’s a big question that a lot of people are struggling with," said Mike Hogan, a former power company executive now with RAP (Regulatory Assistance Project), a non-profit group that does global energy consulting.

Hogan said that Texas might not actually need to move to what’s called a "capacity market" in which fees are artificially imposed on the price of power to fund additonal generation.

"(A capacity market) is kind of like Obamacare for electricity. It’s forcing people to buy insurance they wouldn’t otherwise buy for themselves," said Hogan in an interview with StateImpact.

He says another utility market, ISO New England, has used the capaity market concept.

"Guess what, they didn’t need new capacity. They thought they did. That’s the problem with regulators and generators. Generators always think you need more generation than you do," said Hogan. "We might just find out Texas actually doesn’t need any new capacity, at least not right now."

Hogan advocates what’s called a "capability market" that he describes as a capacity market that values more than just raw power generation.

The PUC has scheduled a workshop meeting October 8th to hear more from experts about ways to maintain enough generation capacity to cover the state’s expected electricity needs but at "economically optimal" cost.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

September 4, 2013

BY CASEY MURPHY
Tyler Morning Telegraph

Energy experts from across Texas converged Tuesday on Tyler for the inaugural Energy Innovation Conference.

Austin-based Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Coalition, or SEED, and Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association sponsored the conference, put on by Clean Energy Coops and attended by about 65 people at the Tyler Rose Garden, organizers said.

Alison Silverstein, president of The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, was the keynote speaker at the all-day event. She is a consultant, lecturer and writer on electric transmission and reliability, infrastructure security, energy efficiency, smart grid, renewable energy and technology adoption issues.

Ms. Silverstein replaced Tyler native Pat Wood, chairman of the board for Dynegy Inc., as keynote speaker after Wood was called by Gov. Rick Perry to help Brandy Marty, newly appointed Public Utility Commissioner.

Ms. Silverstein worked as senior policy advisor to Wood when he was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 2001to 2004 and as his advisor when he was chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas for six years.

Ms. Silverstein discussed the electricity situation in Texas; capability versus capacity energy markets; energy efficiency and demand; energy and water; and cooperatives and the future of utilities good weight loss supplements.

She said 23 percent of consumption within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is coal, 57 percent is natural gas, 6 percent is nuclear and 13 percent is wind.

In the past year, energy use for appliances and electronics has increased for the first time. In the past, it has been heating and cooling homes that affected utility bills the most. But now with more than 25 devices, not counting appliances, in the average home, the net usage of electricity is increasing even though the devices are becoming more efficient, she said.

Consumers can do their part by installing energy efficient air conditioners and appliances, windows and other things for their homes, which start paying off immediately in energy costs, Ms. Silverstein said, adding they are seeing 10 percent to 30 percent in energy savings from those technologies. She said it creates lower energy bills, increases business competiveness and bill savings are usually pumped back into the local economy.

"There are absolute benefits with almost no risk," she said.

Ms. Silverstein said there is a huge amount of energy embedded in water, as well as water in energy.

The average household in Texas uses 267 gallons of water per day, but the No. 1 way to save water is to use less electricity, she said, adding that so much water is embedded in electricity, it is more than people use in their showers or on their lawns.

"Saving water is the only way we can solve the water availability problem and the drought problem," she said.

Other ways to save water, in addition to conserving electricity, include xeriscaping lawns, buying water-efficient appliances and fixing leaking water and wastewater pipes.

She said the members and owners of coops are its customers and they should help them find, install and finance energy efficient solutions to help them save energy and money to invest back into the community.

"Here in East Texas you have a lot of opportunities that individually are small but are huge in terms of benefits they create," she said. She asked the audience to think through the rifts, benefits and costs and consider the tradeoffs when making decisions.

Karen Hadden, executive director of SEED, said some local businesses are in the early stages of providing energy services, such as retrofitting houses to make them more efficient, putting in better lighting, windows and insulation. But, she said, there is room for more work in the solar and renewable energy realm, as well as geothermal, heat pumps for houses and buildings and small scale wind.

They chose Tyler for their first conference because, "There are a lot of people who have already started down this path in Tyler. It’s a great regional center."

Speakers from Tyler included Gary Bristow, senior vice president of Estes, McClure and Associates Inc.; and Phil Parks, president of Texas Responsible Energy and Efficiency, or TREE, in Tyler.

Ray Beavers also was one of the lead speakers. He is the general manager/CEO of United Services Cooperative, a utilities company based in Cleburne. Additional panelists included experts working for cooperatives, businesses and organizations Ms. Hadden said the discussions will be posted at www.CleanEnergyCoops.org.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

NEWS RELEASE

Media Contact: Patrick Kiker
pkiker@aceee.org
202.507.4043

Much time and effort has been invested in addressing the market barriers that inhibit greater investment in energy efficiency technologies and practices in the buildings sector. In addition to these common and well-known barriers (e.g., split incentives, asymmetrical information, higher first costs, etc.), there is a class of barriers that has received less attention. These barriers are cryptic in the sense that they are hidden or unrecognized; they do not stem from the same market failures that have been the subject of extensive study and the target of many policy and program interventions.

Today ACEEE is releasing a new report, Cryptic Barriers to Energy Efficiency. This report is a first effort to characterize and explore these barriers in some detail. We selected case studies from the results of a broad survey to identify as many cryptic barriers as possible and start a compendium. Drawing on these cases, the objective of this report is to suggest opportunities for policy actions that could improve residential building efficiency and to propose potential tools to eliminate cryptic barriers.

To read the paper visit: http://aceee most effective weight loss supplement.org/research-report/a135

About ACEEE: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit aceee.org.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

By CASEY MURPHY
Tyler Morning Telegraph

Karen Hadden believes there is progress to be made in energy efficiency. Ms. Hadden, executive director of Austin-based Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Coalition, or SEED, said some local businesses are in the early stages of providing energy services, such as retrofitting houses to make them more efficient, putting in better lighting, windows and insulation. But, she said, there is room for more work in the solar and renewable energy realm, as well as geothermal, heat pumps for houses and buildings and small scale wind.

The SEED Coalition and Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association are sponsoring the first-ever Energy Innovation Conference, put on by Clean Energy Coops, in Tyler on Sept. 3. The "star-studded lineup" will include energy experts from around the state, Ms. Hadden said.

Ms. Hadden was a biology teacher in public schools in Austin and El Paso before joining the SEED Coalition in 2000. She became its executive director in 2003. SEED Coalition is an advocate for energy efficiency and renewable energy, works with advocates across Texas, testifies at the state capital and does educational outreach.

She said they hope to have 100 people from across northeast Texas attend the event. They chose Tyler for their first conference because, "Tyler is beautiful," she said. "There are a lot of people who have already started down this path in Tyler. It’s a great regional center."

She said the event will be good for people in the "energy world" to attend, as well as home and business owners, community leaders and those involved in economic development.

Pat Wood, of Tyler, will be the keynote speaker. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and was chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission. He has a consulting company and is serving as chairman of the Board of Dynegy, Inc. Wood will discuss changes coming in the world of energy generation and how best to meet future energy needs.

"Through the years he has been working on the question, will we have enough energy and how best do we meet the needs," Ms. Hadden said, adding that he talks about his personal experiences of seeing that energy efficiency can work for individuals and utilities.

Other speakers from Tyler include Gary Bristow, senior vice president of Estes, McClure and Associates Inc., which has done a lot of work with the Tyler schools in helping reduce their energy bills, she said. Phil Parks, president of Texas Responsible Energy and Efficiency, or TREE, in Tyler, does solar and wind projects.

Ray Beavers also will be one of the lead speakers. He is the general manager/CEO of United Services Cooperative, a utilities company based in Cleburne.

"Part of the concern here from the perspective of the utilities is to make sure we have enough energy," Ms. Hadden said. "How do we meet our needs, our growing needs? And one of the big problems is meeting peak demand, which is the hottest day in the hottest part of summer, the hottest time of day … anything we can do that shaves the peak — that cuts that stress out of the picture is a really positive thing. Energy efficiency is the most affordable approach and it’s the fastest approach to dealing with that need."

Another speaker, Cris Eugster, is executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer for City Public Service Energy in San Antonio. The utility company is helping people better insulate and weatherize their homes to help customers have lower electricity bills and to help the company avoid having to build another coal plant, which would be a $1 billion investment, she said.

Kirk Johnson, of Corgan Associates in Dallas, will speak about his work in helping to develop the nation’s first "net zero energy" middle school in Irving. The campus produces as much energy as it uses through wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal energy, rainwater collection and other programs.

Bob Manning, founder and president of Bob Manning Associates, will discuss his 16 years of work for H-E-B, when he helped save the company millions of dollars through energy efficiency and green building efforts, she said.

Additional speakers will be Richard Anderson, former Texas senator and Harrison County judge; Dub Taylor, director of Texas’ Energy Conservation Office; John Ashe, CLEAResult director of programs; Dr. Patrick Cox, Pedernales Electric Cooperative director; Tom Fitzpatrick, Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M University; and Darren Schauer, general manager/CEO of Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative.

The event will be held at the Tyler Rose Garden, at 420 Rose Park Drive, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 3. The fee is $65 and includes breakfast, lunch and snacks. Ms. Hadden said they have a limited number of discounted and complimentary tickets. Those interested in attending need to register by Friday by calling 512-797-8481 or visiting www.CleanEnergyCoops.org .

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.