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States and Utilities Leading Way on Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs

States and utilities invested over $811 million on direct industrial energy efficiency programs in 2010, far exceeding the spending by the federal government and other national-level programs, according to a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Some $737 million – 84 percent – of that total was spent by utilities and public benefit organizations, according to Money Well Spent: Industrial Energy Efficiency Program Spending in 2010. State agencies and public universities contributed $74 million to industrial energy efficiency programs in 2010.

Spending varied considerably from state to state, however. New York ranked first in overall industrial program spending with $103 million in 2010. This figure was bolstered by strong utility spending and the significant impacts of programs run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The next five biggest spenders on industrial energy efficiency were California, Pennsylvania, Washington, Massachusetts, and Oregon, according to the report.

In comparison, federal sources spent $257 million on direct industrial energy efficiency projects, with $228 million of that total coming from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act – commonly referred to as the fiscal stimulus. ACEEE says that stimulus funds helped fund financing and technical assistance programs that have jump-started a cleaner and more energy-efficient economic recovery.

According to a recent study by ACEEE, appliance, equipment, and lighting standards will save businesses and consumers more than $1.1 trillion by 2035, while cutting greenhouse gases and other emissions.

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