Energy Efficiency Programs Can Realistically Reduce Growth in Electricity Consumption by 22%, According to EPRI

By |


Powerplant.gifEnergy efficiency programs in the United States could realistically reduce the rate of growth for electricity consumption by 22 percent over the next two decades if key barriers can be addressed, according to an analysis released today by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The potential energy savings in 2030 would be 236 billion kilowatt hours, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 14 New York Cities. Stated differently, the demand for electricity over the next two decades could be reduced from the 1.07 percent annual growth rate projected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2008 Annual Energy Outlook down to 0.83 percent, slowing the rate of increase by approximately 22 percent. The analysis comes at a time when utilities, regulators, and policymakers are aggressively seeking ways to meet growing electricity demand while reducing the nation's carbon footprint. The key challenge is to maximize potential gains in energy efficiency while ensuring adequate new electric generation to maintain reliability and meet future demand.

The EPRI analysis entitled "Assessment of Achievable Savings Potential From Energy Efficiency and Demand Response in the U.S." found that under an ideal set of conditions conducive to energy efficiency programs, the consumption growth rate could be further reduced to as low as 0.68 percent annually by 2030. However, achieving the ideal would require costly investments as well as political and regulatory support.

The report defines a realistic achievable figure that includes a forecast of likely customer behavior, taking into account existing market, societal and attitudinal barriers as well as regulatory and program funding barriers. The barriers could reflect customers' resistance to doing more than the minimum required or a rejection of the attributes of the efficient technology.

A maximum achievable figure assumes a scenario of perfect customer awareness of utility or agency administered programs and effective, fully funded program execution. The maximum achievable number includes the effect of customer rejection of efficiency technologies.

For its baseline assumptions, the EPRI study relied on EIA projections of growth in electricity consumption and peak demand for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors from its 2008 Annual Energy Outlook. The EPRI report and its executive summary can be downloaded at the RPRI website.

"This study is well suited to inform utilities, policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholder groups," said Arshad Mansoor, vice president of Power Delivery and Utilization for EPRI. "Estimates of energy efficiency potential affect forecasts of electricity demand, and electric utilities must make prudent investments in generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure to reliably and cost-effectively address this demand."

Faced with the challenges of managing energy resources wisely, maintaining low-cost reliable power service, and reducing carbon emissions, utilities and policy makers are looking to energy efficiency as a means to achieve these objectives. Many states have established, or are considering, legislation to mandate energy efficiency savings levels.


  • Comment on this article

Post a Comment
comments powered by Disqus

Latest Green Home Theater News

Mar 18
How Recycling AV Gear Might Find The Next Big Market of New Customers Eventually, all audio/video products must be replaced. However, there may be an opportunity available in disposing of these older products that helps grow the industry and the hobby.
How Recycling AV Gear Might Find The Next Big Market of New Customers

Dec 27
Elan Helps Harness Clean Energy of the Sun Elan has brought the company's g! entertainment and control system to a Dallas homeowner's home in order to control and manage a massive green energy system, as well as a massive AV system.
Elan Helps Harness Clean Energy of the Sun

Apr 21
CEA Able to Recycle 75 Percent of Materials from 2012 CES The Consumer Electronics Association goes all out every year when they hold the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For the 2012 CES, the organization decided to take a much greener approach.
CEA Able to Recycle 75 Percent of Materials from 2012 CES

Dec 12
How To Avoid Being Torched By Eco-Mode On Your New HDTV Consumers are being shafted in a way they may not even be aware of when it comes to their HDTV's picture quality. These simple steps will help ensure that you get the best picture you can out of your HDTV.
How To Avoid Being Torched By Eco-Mode On Your New HDTV

Jun 14
Panasonic Eco Ad Campaign Launches in North America In a plan to remain socially and environmentally conscious, Panasonic has begun launching an advertising campaign that will promote eco friendly actions and technology through the Panasonic brand.
Panasonic Eco Ad Campaign Launches in North America