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New Report: States Have Proven Options for Promoting Cost-Saving Energy Efficiency

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Manual outlines 20 policy options that enable states to help customers save money through energy efficiency, with or without mandates 

[Washington, D.C. — Aug 24, 2016] — A new report by the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE), prepared for the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE Institute), outlines 20 policies states could adopt to promote energy efficiency. In the past decade, energy efficiency mandates—often called energy efficiency resource standards (EERS)—have been the primary policy tool for driving investment in energy efficiency. With many of these policies approaching their target dates and needing to be extended or replaced in order to continue capitalizing on their cost-saving benefits, some state officials are looking for ways to maintain market certainty for energy efficiency that can work in conjunction with, or independently from, an EERS.

The report, State Policies to Expand Market Certainty for Energy Efficiency without an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, is available for download here.

This report is the second in a series of four papers produced by CNEE analyzing policies for energy efficiency (Parts 1 and 2) and renewable energy (Parts 3 and 4). Parts 1 and 3 discuss the prospects for extending and enhancing established policies and Parts 2 and 4 propose innovative options that could work with or without an EERS and Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The papers also draw from experience in many states to outline best practices.

The paper notes that energy efficiency is one of the lowest cost, lowest risk energy resources available today. However, deployment falls short of what is economically feasible because of regulatory and policy barriers at the state level. Removing those barriers can level the playing field and lead to greater deployment of energy efficiency.

“Most state policymakers know that energy efficiency is the best way to lower costs for customers through lower energy bills, improved reliability, and greater control over energy use,” said Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy, a national business group affiliated with AEE Institute. “This report gives state policymakers a set of proven policy tools to create growing markets for energy-saving technologies and services.”

"There are numerous ways that states can drive the use of energy efficiency, which is the best way to manage and reduce energy costs for customers," said Jim Gardner, former chairman of Kentucky's Public Service Commission. "It doesn't have to take a state mandate to put the money-saving power of energy efficiency to work for businesses and consumers. State leaders should consider all the ways they can unleash the power of energy efficiency for their citizens."

The 20 policy approaches identified in the paper are broken into five categories: regulatory mechanisms, financing programs, technology-specific policies, administration of existing programs, and investment in low-income communities. Each policy is described in detail, and model policies and programs drawn from states across the country are provided. 

About Advanced Energy Economy and the Advanced Energy Economy Institute
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable the rapid growth of advanced energy companies. The Advanced Energy Economy Institute is a nonprofit educational and charitable organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the public benefits and opportunities of advanced energy.

About the Center for the New Energy Economy
The Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) provides policy makers including governors, legislators, regulators and other decision makers with a roadmap that will accelerate the nationwide development of the new energy economy. That economy will create and keep jobs in the United States; encourage development and use of clean and affordable domestic energy; protect our environment and climate; and keep America on the leading edge of global competition.

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Media Contact:

Monique Hanis
Director, Media Relations & Publications
Advanced Energy Economy
The business voice of advanced energy

1000 Vermont Ave., N.W., Third Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005
202-391-0884 | mhanis@aee.net | www.AEE.net | @AEEnet @GreenerMonique