Energy Efficiency: 2018 in Review

    December 14, 2018

    Marketing Manager at Fairbanks Energy Services

    Energy efficiency was top of mind for many jurisdictions in 2018. Whether the underlying reason was to address climate change issues, prod more action from the federal government, or to save money on energy costs, these initiatives benefit millions of people with improved local energy efficiency efforts.

    New Efficiency Standards in New York

    In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new energy efficiency standards in April, with a goal of investor-owned utilities achieving annual efficiency savings of 3% of sales by 2025. As part of the state’s overall climate goals and trend toward clean energy, they are investing $36.5 million in clean energy job training, to prepare up to 19,500 workers for new jobs. The plan helps the state achieve almost a third of its climate goal to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030, with an 80% reduction by 2050. This follows on an announcement earlier in the year to combat climate change with increases in energy storage, developing offshore wind power, and phasing out coal-fired power plants.

     

    Grading Energy Efficiency in NYC

    At the close of 2017, New York City passed legislation to set up a system to grade the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings over 25,000 square feet, about 20,000 total structures. Beginning in 2020, using benchmarks based on ENERGY STAR scores, buildings will be rated from A-F, similar to how restaurants are graded in the city. This legislation is part of city’s goal to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050, though it’s not without controversy.

     

    New Energy Efficiency Programs in Chicago

    ComEd has a new plan to improve energy efficiency for public sector and income-eligible customers. They are investing $1.4 billion over four years to create new offerings such as lighting discounts, appliance rebates, and saving on installation of HVAC systems. They are expecting to achieve 11.8% energy savings by the end of 2021, and reduce carbon emissions by over 96 billion pounds.

     

    Massachusetts Ranked #1 In Energy Efficiency

    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked Massachusetts number one in the nation in energy efficiency for the eighth year in a row. California is second, followed by Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. Part of the ranking is due to the fact that Massachusetts, along with Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia, have incorporated net zero-energy construction into long-range plans.

     

    Energy Efficiency Legislation in Vermont

    In May, Vermont signed a bill to address energy efficiency – applying to several consumer appliances and correcting a loophole that exempted certain types of fluorescent lights from energy efficiency standards. This is expected to save 59 million kWh of electricity every year. Spurred on by stalled efforts from the federal government on the energy efficiency front, Vermont also hopes this legislation will encourage adoption of more rigorous federal standards. 

     

    Energy Efficiency Settlement an Excellent Deal for Colorado Consumers

    In working with numerous and diverse stakeholders over the years, Xcel Energy has shifted significantly toward clean energy sources in Colorado, while also creating numerous programs that save energy and money for our 1.4 million electric customers. One of the key components of this effort has been through the significant development of energy efficiency efforts, known in utility parlance as “demand-side management,” or DSM. Currently, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is determining what energy savings targets should be pursued moving forward and what level of expenditures is reasonable to achieve these savings.

     

    Connecticut has more than 30,000 Energy Efficiency Jobs

    Connecticut’s energy efficiency employment levels have nearly tripled since the last report was released in December 2016. Connecticut has the second-largest number of energy efficiency jobs in New England, trailing only Massachusetts, which has 84,556. Nationally, there are 2.25 million energy efficiency jobs and employment in the sector grew by 3 percent in 2017.

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