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Annual Electric Efficiency Budgets Jump 25%

U.S. ratepayer-funded electric efficiency budgets increased from $5.4 billion in 2010 to $6.8 billion in 2011, according to a report by The Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Efficiency.

According to Summary of Ratepayer-Funded Electric Efficiency Impacts, Budgets, and Expenditures (2010 – 2011), From 2007 to 2011, the average annual growth rate for electric efficiency budgets was approximately 25 percent (see chart).

Given that state energy efficiency resource standards are now established in half of U.S. states, covering two-thirds of the population, budgets are likely to exceed 12 billion by 2020, the report says.

The rate of rapid growth is indicative of a dramatic increase in state budgets for electric efficiency projects and the result of a host of new state energy efficiency goals and targets, according to the report.

Electric utilities are by far the largest providers of electric efficiency in the U.S., with budgets comprising 84 percent of total ratepayer-funded electric efficiency budgets nationwide, the report says.

A report out in October 2011 said that efficiency financing has the potential to jump from $20 billion to $150 billion over the next ten years.

The Capital-E report said that investment at this level would save U.S. businesses and households $200 billion a year and create more than one million full time jobs within a decade.

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