Study: Texas Can Gain Cheap Electricity Rates Through Energy Efficiency

Friday May 27, 2011
Posted at 08:12

Turns out that switching to an alternative retail electric company isn’t the only way that consumers and businesses in Texas can start saving money on their monthly electric bills.

A new study, “Energy Efficiency Investments as an Economic Productivity Strategy for Texas,” by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, found that proper, cost-effective investment in Texas energy efficiency projects not only could save residential and commercial ratepayers $14 billion between 2012 and 2030, it could also result in the creation of 47,000 jobs per year by 2030.

The council’s study, commissioned by the Texas Clean Energy Coalition, examined the target set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for the state’s utilities to meet 30 percent of the expected growth in demand for electricity through energy efficiency improvements, as well as estimates by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is responsible for the state’s electric grid in the three-quarters of the state that is deregulated.

The council found that the PUCT’s goal would save ratepayers only about $3 billion between 2012 and 2030 and create just 9,200 jobs per year by 2030.

Instead, “an expanded set of productivity investments across the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors would not only reduce the growth in electricity demand, they would actually reduce overall electricity consumption 12 percent to 19 percent below 2010 levels by 2030,” according to the study.

To achieve this level of benefits, efficiency gains from supply side and demand side investments would need to displace conventional electricity use by about 1.5 percent to 2 percent per year until 2030.

“The extent to which the resulting benefits are realized will depend on the willingness of business and policy leaders to redirect investment patterns to this more productive opportunity,” the study concludes.

Sources

Texas Energy Efficiency Investments Would Save Money for Consumers and Businesses While Creating Thousands of Jobs,” American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy press release, March 22, 2011.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, “Energy Efficiency Investments as an Economic Productivity Strategy for Texas,” March, 2011.

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