New York Ramps Up Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard

New York State’s landmark Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) is expected to be in full swing this summer with 90
individual programs supported by about $922 million of ratepayer funding.

The Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) is one of the most comprehensive and aggressive energy efficiency initiatives in the nation. Last week the Public Service Commission staff completed a first quarter report on the EEPS.

To date the Commission has approved 90
individual programs supported by about $922 million of ratepayer funding
to be collected through the end of 2011. Future steps will include the
evaluation of existing programs and the extension of successful programs
through 2015. Over 60 of the approved programs are reporting
implementation-related activity, and 23 programs are reporting energy
savings; the bulk of the remaining programs are expected to become operational by
the summer. 

Through March, EEPS program administrators report that approximately
$53.4 million has been expended for EEPS program implementation and
another $17.1 million has been committed, mostly through contracts or
agreements with vendors. Electric energy efficiency measures installed
to date will reduce average annual consumption by 158,591 MWhs, enough
to meet the electricity needs of approximately 24,400 homes. Gas energy
efficiency measures installed so far will reduce average annual natural
gas usage by 489,990 dekatherms, which would meet the energy annual gas
usage of approximately 5,850 homes each year. It is expected that
expenditures and MWh savings will continue to ramp up during 2010.

The fundamental objective of EEPS is to put in place new energy
efficiency programs that will help reduce New York’s electricity usage
by 15% of forecast levels by 2015, with comparable results in
natural gas efficiency, and to provide a variety of other environmental
and economic benefits to New Yorkers. Programs under EEPS are available
from State’s electric and gas utilities as well as the New York State
Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“In reviewing energy savings achieved through the first quarter, it is important to realize that many of the programs are just beginning to offer services to customers, and many more programs will begin offering these services in the next few months." Commission Chairman Garry Brown said." We expect to see steady increases in the reported energy savings.”

According to the report, most program administrators anticipate the program will meet their overall 2011 energy savings targets which would reduce annual electricity consumption for utilities regulated by the Commission by approximately 3,569,000 MWhs.

The greatest market response thus far has been with the upstate gas companies’ residential HVAC programs offering assistance with furnace and boiler replacements. Meanwhile, the successes in the electricity efficiency programs are expected to rise in the near future. The top 10 largest electric programs in terms of funding comprise about 70% of the total funding for EEPS electric efficiency programs. All of the highest-funded electric efficiency programs should be engaging the market by mid-year 2010 and many already are accepting applications and installing measures.

Despite the initiatives overall success, the current economic climate is having an impact on program implementation. The degree to which the economy has had, and will continue to have, an impact on EEPS implementation is unknown. Meanwhile, coordinating the deployment of Commission-approved efficiency programs with efficiency programs being initiated at federal, state, and local levels is an increasing challenge.

Staff’s report, when issued, may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at the link below.

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