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Open Access Publications from the University of California

What does the future hold for utility electricity efficiency programs?


This study develops projections of future spending and savings from electricity efficiency programs funded by electric utility customers in the United States through 2030 based on three scenarios. Our analysis relies on detailed bottom-up modeling of current state energy efficiency policies, demand-side management and integrated resource plans, and regulatory decisions. The three scenarios represent a range of potential outcomes given the policy environment at the time of the study and uncertainties in the broader economic and state policy environment in each state. We project spending to increase to $8.6 billion in 2030 in the medium scenario, about a 45 percent increase relative to 2016 spending. In the high case, annual spending increases to $11.1 billion in 2030 and remains relatively flat in the low case ($6.8 billion in 2030). Our analysis suggests that electricity efficiency programs funded by utility customers will continue to impact load growth significantly at least through 2030, as savings as a percent of retail sales are forecast at 0.7 percent in the medium scenario and 0.98 percent in the high scenario.

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