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VT’s Energy Efficiency Programs Lead the Nation

The Vermont Public Service Department has compared Vermont’s electric energy efficiency program with programs in eight other states. The evaluation shows that at similar costs, Vermont’s electric energy efficiency programs save more energy.

“I am gratified but not surprised that Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Utilities show greater benefits for dollars spent than systems in other states” said Chris Recchia, Commissioner of Vermont Public Service Department. “Vermont is a national leader in energy efficiency and this report highlights the success of our programs.”

The Department’s benchmarking analysis compares reported costs and savings for program years 2011 and 2012. The analysis includes results for energy savings as well as for peak demand. Peak demand savings reduce the need to build new electric generators or power lines.

“Benchmarking is an appropriate tool to ensure Vermont’s programs compare well to programs in other jurisdictions. We are pleased to see Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Utilities perform so well compared to their peers” said Asa Hopkins, Director of Energy Policy and Planning in the Department.

Electric energy efficiency services are provided in Burlington by Burlington Electric Department (BED) and by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation to the rest of the state as Efficiency Vermont (EVT). Both providers are referred to as Energy Efficiency Utilities (EEUs). The evaluation compared performance for both EVT and BED to that of twenty-seven other energy efficiency service providers in eight jurisdictions (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland and Minnesota).

Conclusions include the following highlights:

  • EVT’s and BED’s energy efficiency programs produced higher savings compared to most of the other organizations benchmarked. EVT’s programs saved about 2.4% of utility electric sales per year, while BED’s programs saved about 1.9%. The median savings for the benchmarked organizations is 1.7%.

  • EVT’s first-year cost of saved energy is slightly less than the median for the organizations benchmarked in this analysis, while BED’s is just above the median.

  • EVT’s and BED’s energy efficiency programs have the second- and third-highest peak demand savings compared to the rest of the benchmarked organizations. EVT’s and BED’s programs each saved about 1.3% of retail peak demand per year, while the median savings for the group of compared organizations is less 1.0% of retail peak demand.

  • EVT’s cost of peak demand savings is less than the median for the organizations benchmarked while BED’s cost of peak demand savings is above the median.

Every three years the Department assesses the EEUs’ performance relative to similar efficiency efforts in other jurisdictions. Benchmarking is also considered in the overall performance assessment conducted by the Vermont Public Service Board every six years. This is a review process that considers the effectiveness of Vermont’s EEUs and determines whether it is in the best interest of Vermont ratepayers to solicit competitive bids for delivery of efficiency services, or to re-appoint the incumbent providers.

A copy of the full Benchmarking report is available at: bit.ly/VT_PSB_benchmark

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