Michigan’s 2008 law requiring utility spending on energy efficiency programs continued to exceed targets in 2015, surpassing goals for cutting electric and natural gas use by roughly 20 percent and proving to be a good investment for ratepayers.
According to a state report released Wednesday, ratepayers will ultimately see $5.2 billion in savings since the program started. In 2015, utilities spent $262 million on various energy efficiency programs that will generate $1.08 billion in lifecycle savings for ratepayers. Or, for every dollar spent in 2015, customers are expected to see $4.35 in benefits.
Moreover, the savings were obtained at a cost of $13.55 per megawatt-hour, “significantly cheaper than supply-side options such as new natural gas combined cycle generation at $56.40/MWh,” the report says.
“When compared to building and operating power plants these programs are the smartest investment by far,” Sally Talberg, chair of the Michigan Public Service Commissions, said in a statement.
Utility plans vary across the 64 different electric and gas plans filed with the state. The state’s Energy Optimization program targets efficiency savings at 1 percent of retail sales for electric providers and .75 percent for gas. Those targets were surpassed in 2015 but are slightly lower than 2014 savings.
Read more (Midwest Energy News)