Energy efficiency is a low-cost, clean energy resource that reduces energy waste and carbon emissions while lowering customer bills. But too many utilities, including some of the Southeast’s largest, fail to serve the efficiency needs of their customers and instead continue to over-rely on outdated fossil fuel generation.
“Energy Efficiency in the Southeast”, an annual report developed by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), tracks recent policy developments and performance trends in electric utility efficiency from 2021 (the most recent year for which complete data is available). In its fifth installment, the report continues to highlight that Southeastern utilities continue to underinvest in energy efficiency, despite it being a proven low-cost clean energy resource with enormous potential to reduce carbon emissions and customers’ energy burdens. However, with the enormous influx of new federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, Southeast utilities and states can charter a new course and tap into the region’s plentiful energy efficiency reserves.
Our report uses a standard metric to compare performance between utilities and states of different sizes by measuring annual efficiency savings as a percent of total retail electric sales. Our data findings are presented with both historical context and the most recent policy trends to give a sense of where efficiency savings performance will likely go in the coming years.
Report authors also discussed the potential for energy savings in the region as well as the high cost of inaction. The presentation concluded with a Q+A session.