Energy efficiency is a great way (and cheap way) to stabilize energy rates, reduce energy costs for end-users, and cut greenhouse gas emissions while meeting demand. According to a report by the ACEEE, 26 states have put energy efficiency resource standards (EERS) into effect; the EERS include a set of policies that require utilities to set and achieve energy savings targets. Through these state policies, the USA achieved over 20 million MWh in savings in 2012, with many states exceeding their goals. The 26 states following through on energy saving policies could serve as an example for the remaining 24 states that do not have EERS in place. States that are new to the efficiency game can take strategies from states with existing EERS to create policies and targets and help the country as a whole achieve greater energy savings. Cleantechnica also has a good summary of the ACEEE report.
Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: A New Progress Report on State ExperienceACEEE, April 20, 2014
More than half the states have adopted an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS), which is a policy that sets long-term mandatory energy savings targets for utilities and efficiency program administrators. In the absence of federal requirements for energy savings, states are leading the way with effective, forward-looking energy efficiency policies. Their long-term savings targets not only set forth a vision for their energy portfolios, but they also spur utilities and non-utility program administrators to invest in deeper savings measures.
States with EERS policies are generally on track to meet long-term savings targets and are making a substantial contribution toward nationwide energy savings. In 2011 and 2012, many states ramped up their savings targets and savings levels compared to previous years. In 2011, 13 states exceeded their electricity savings targets, and 6 others came within 90% of them. Only two states achieved less than 80% of their targeted electricity savings. In 2012, 15 states met or exceeded their electricity savings targets, and 6 others came within 90% of their savings targets for the year. Only one state met less than 80% of its target. Figure E1 shows targets and achieved electricity savings in 2011 and 2012.