Next Generation Energy Efficiency: What Can Policymakers Do to Keep States at the Forefront?

Included in NEEP’s 2016 Regional Roundup is our take on what state energy offices, regulators and legislators can do to ensure that their states keep advancing on efforts to capture all cost-effective efficiency and keep riding the wave of this exciting “Next Generation".

Here's our Top Ten list of actions that policymakers can take to stay on course.

Please see the full report for more insights and analysis.

  1. Put consumers at the center of the energy/utility relationship, thoughtfully integrating new technologies and policies to so that price signals, information and behavior aligns to advance the efficient use of energy.
  2. Via law or regulation, establish binding policy directives for utilities to capture all cost‐effective energy efficiency, and provide a regulatory framework to allow for the integration of these programs with other demand side resources, including demand response, storage, on-site renewable generation, combined heat and power and electric vehicles.  
  3. Create utility rate structures aligned with broader public policy goals, including mitigating the need for new infrastructure, lowering peak and overall energy use, supporting carbon reduction goals, fostering climate resiliency, growing the clean energy economy, and helping consumers save energy and reduce costs.
  4. Ensure adequate, stable, long‐term funding for efficiency programs, with private financing to complement but not supplant ratepayer program funding.  
  5. Allow for robust stakeholder input and engagement — ideally through a standing advisory board with expert consultants — to help states plan, deliver and evaluate methods to achieve long‐term savings goals.
  6. Advance policies and programs that promote comprehensive all-fuel strategies, including building energy and operational savings en route to “zero energy buildings.”
  7. Support complementary public policies such as building energy codes, building energy rating and disclosure, appliance efficiency standards, and state and local governments “leading by example” through progressive energy efficiency strategies in schools and other public buildings.
  8. Integrate energy efficiency into long‐range state energy and air quality planning, and ensure that energy efficiency and other demand resources are fully accounted for and considered equally through robust and comprehensive analyses whenever new infrastructure investments are contemplated.  
  9. Foster a flexible regulatory framework to address the opportunities and challenges of new information and communication technologies and continue supporting transparency and consistency in evaluation, measurement and verification of program savings.
  10. Highlight and share regionally and nationally energy efficiency success stories and learn from best practices to ensure continued progress in capturing cost-effective efficiency and moving towards Next Generation Energy Efficiency policies and programs.

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