According to projections by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, energy-efficiency programs funded by utilities are expected to expand beyond the traditional efficiency-conscious areas of the Northeast and West. By 2025, states in the Midwest and South could account for 49% of total U.S. spending on energy-efficiency programs, up from 27% in 2010. Remodelers can research and help homeowners take advantage of these efficiency programs during a project. Visit dsireusa.org to find programs in your state.
Reasons for the projected growth include policies in a number of states that require utilities to obtain cost-effective energy-efficiency savings, energy-efficiency resource standards, and utilities turning to energy efficiency as part of their strategy to deliver reliable electricity.
However, the actual numbers will change based on uncertainty in the market due to concern about the effect of energy-efficiency programs on utility rates, the timing and pace of the economic recovery, natural gas prices, and the effect of recent and future changes to federal and state efficiency standards for appliances and building codes.
“So far, only a few very aggressive states have come close to offsetting growth in electricity needs through efficiency,” says Charles Goldman, a co-author of the study and head of the laboratory’s energy analysis and environmental impacts department. The study finds that although uncertainties remain, overall, energy-efficiency programs could offset a significant portion of projected load growth in the electricity sector over the next decade. Click here for The Future of Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs report.