For decades Conservation Law Foundation has pushed for more energy efficiency, which continues to be the lowest cost, cleanest and most reliable way to meet power needs. More energy efficiency means fewer dirty coal plants, fewer monstrous transmission lines, and more money in our pockets. We all win.
The operators of the New England Power grid, the ISO-New England, released their energy-efficiency forecast. The news is pretty remarkable. It shows the real effect of our commitment to energy efficiency. You can read the report here.
In states like Vermont, efficiency will more than offset expected growth and allow older and dirtier supplies to step aside.
By comparison New Hampshire, which has not invested as much in efficiency, continues to grow its power use and continues to pay too much for ever more polluting power supplies.
In the words of the ISO New England, the energy efficiency forecast shows the states’ investment in energy efficiency is having a significant impact on electric energy consumption and peak demand. About $260 million in transmission expenses have already been deferred for New England customers. (p.23).
That’s $260 million in our pockets.
What’s also important is that these are very conservative numbers: if states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island meet their goals for helping customers to save energy and money the reductions in energy use will exceed what the ISO is presenting.
This report shows that investments in electricity efficiency are really paying off – we need to apply the lessons from that sector to other areas, like ensuring we use natural gas and oil very efficiently as well, saving customers money while reducing pollution and fuel imports.
More savings are available. Some states are not making as large investments in energy efficiency as others. New Hampshire for example is causing its citizens to experience unnecessarily high costs.
It is good to see the bright payoff from what are only the beginnings of our efficiency investments.