Washington, DC — A new report issued by the American Gas Association (AGA) shows that more states than ever are implementing regulations that allow local natural gas utilities to put in place energy efficiency programs that help customers reduce their energy bills. In its May 2009 issue of the Natural Gas Rate Round-Up, AGA reported that 19 states have regulations that permit the recovery of revenues and margins lost due to utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs. In addition, 11 states as well as Canada have approved financial incentives for utilities that invest in energy efficiency.
These regulatory measures are paramount because they align utility incentives with helping customers reduce their energy usage. When utilities are able to recover energy efficiency program costs and lost revenues, and earn a profit on energy efficiency services, they are stronger partners with customers in achieving conservation.
“Effective regulatory approaches, such as decoupling and other innovative rate designs, are a true ‘win-win’ for customers and utilities. Customers save money by using energy more efficiently, and utility companies can promote efficiency and conservation measures without placing themselves in financial jeopardy,” said David Parker, president and CEO of AGA.
By the end of 2007, natural gas utilities in states that have energy efficiency or demand management programs achieved a savings of 9 percent of total natural gas usage per residential participant, which equates to direct consumer cost savings.
“The numbers speak for themselves, and as a result, regulatory approaches that promote energy efficiency are spreading across America,” said Parker.
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