The data show that most utilities consistently outperformed savings projections, without commensurate spending increases.
Boulder, CO (PRWEB) October 16, 2014
E Source recently released the results from its 2013 benchmark of demand-side management (DSM) spending and results. Now in its fourth year, “DSM Achievements and Expenditures” highlights key industry trends that lend perspective to the DSM landscape. With actual 2013 results from 53 electric and natural gas utilities from across North America, the report reveals which program administrators are reaching their goals, which sectors are having the most success, and which trends in portfolio performance are emerging year over year.
Four utilities rose to the top as winners of E Source’s first annual DSM Achievement Awards for greatest energy savings as a percentage of retail sales and most energy savings per customer. The winners are:
- CenterPoint Energy (Minnesota), which achieved the greatest energy savings as a percentage of its natural gas sales (1.19 percent)
- National Grid (Rhode Island), which achieved the greatest energy savings as a percentage of its electricity sales (2.09 percent)
- Manitoba Hydro, which saved the most energy per gas customer (20.14 therms)
- Otter Tail Power (Minnesota), which saved the most energy per electric customer (599.00 kilowatt-hours [kWh])
“We’re thrilled to honor these utilities for demonstrating highly successful DSM portfolios despite, facing so many technical, political, and economic pressures,” says Julie Herman, business line manager for the E Source Demand-Side Management Service. “Many other utilities—such as APS, Minnesota Power, Xcel Energy (Minnesota), and DTE Energy—also showed impressive results.”
Although natural gas prices have remained consistently low for several years, gas utilities have increased their overall energy savings by one-third from 2011 to 2013. Most gas utilities in the E Source study exceeded their energy-savings goals with minimal overspending. “The data show that most utilities consistently outperformed savings projections, without commensurate spending increases. With so many successful energy-efficiency programs across North America, utilities can easily find models that demonstrate how they can mine their own programs for deeper overall savings over longer periods of time,” says Melanie Wemple, E Source research manager and author of the report. Herman adds, “This is something we also saw last year, and it’s good news for utilities as they begin to develop strategies to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan proposal.”
The study showed that the average cost to save natural gas dropped in every sector. The residential sector saw the largest change since 2011, with a 36 percent decrease in the cost of annual incremental energy saved. Holding true to previous years, the nonresidential sector yielded the most cost-effective energy savings, with a three-year average of $2.29 per annual incremental therm saved.
The majority of electric utilities in the study hit their energy-savings projections and did so within budget. The nonresidential sector comprised more than half of the average electric energy savings and, just as in the gas portfolio, yielded the most cost-effective annual energy savings at an average cost of $0.19 per kWh. At the same time, the nonresidential sector accounted for less than half of the DSM spending, which continues to decline as portfolios are getting more savings per dollar spent in the nonresidential sector. Though spending on residential programs has grown modestly among electric utilities, savings per dollar spent on residential programs have not improved.
About E Source
For 26 years, E Source has been providing unbiased, objective research and advisory services to over 300 utilities and large energy users. Our energy experts have answered more than 8,000 questions over the past 3 years. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.