America’s electric and natural gas utilities are now investing more than $7.5 billion annually in programs to help customers use energy more efficiently, according to the latest comprehensive survey. The electricity savings, alone, from the latest year of U.S. utility investment, exceed the annual production of eight giant coal-fired power plants. The report also covers Canadian utility investments, which reached an all-time high in 2015 (the U.S./Canada total for the year topped $8.2 billion, counting only utility contributions, and $8.7 billion including supplementary sources like the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative).
The recently released Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s (CEE) 11th Annual Industry Report serves as a reminder of the importance of this vital source of clean energy investment. Independent research has affirmed repeatedly that the cost of programs to avoid energy use—such as weatherization and rebates for highly efficient appliances—typically cost less than half as much as alternative sources.
Read more (NRDC)