WASHINGTON D.C.—A report released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) shows that energy efficiency is the cheapest method of providing Americans with electricity. “The cheapest energy is the energy you don’t have to produce in the first place,” said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel. “Our new report shows that when utilities are examining options on how to provide their customers with cheap, clean electricity, energy efficiency is generally the best choice.” Energy efficiency programs aimed at reducing energy waste cost utilities only about three cents per kilowatt hour, while generating the same amount of electricity from sources such as fossil fuels can cost two to three times more.
The report analyzes energy efficiency costs from states across the country, including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Each dollar invested in electric energy efficiency measures yields $1.24 to $4.00 in total benefits for all customers, which includes avoided energy and capacity costs, lower energy costs during peak demand periods like heat waves, avoided costs from building new power lines and reduced pollution. Another finding from the report indicates that incorporating higher levels of energy efficiency in long-term planning can protect utilities and their customers against volatile and rising costs of traditional energy resources.
The full report from the ACEEE, The Best Value for America’s Energy Dollar: A National Review of the Cost of Utility Energy Efficiency Programs, can be found here.