Regulatory Incentives for Utilities to Promote Energy Efficiency
AGA continues to support movement toward regulation that allows innovative rate designs to help natural gas utilities in their conservation energy efficiency efforts. Traditional rate structures serve as disincentives for utilities to provide energy-saving products and services, since the allowed rate of return is calculated based on the amount of gas delivered to consumers. Thus any effort to reduce natural gas consumption would hinder utilities ability to recoup invested fixed costs. "Decoupling" of utility revenues from natural gas sales is one method of removing such energy efficiency market impediments. Other regulatory incentives that would empower utilities to provide energy efficiency programs include non-volumetric and other innovate rate designs; recovery of energy efficiency program-related costs; recovery of revenue and margin losses associated with implementing energy efficiency programs; and performance-based incentives for utility shareholders and/or ratepayers that attain specific success metrics (such as predefined energy savings and/or cost efficiency targets).
- Aligning Utility Shareholder and Consumer Interests - Resource for tracking progress on state regulatory and legislative policy activity intended to create alignment between natural gas utility shareholders and consumer interests.
Measuring Energy Efficiency: Full Fuel Cycle Analysis
Measuring energy intensity on a full fuel cycle, or "source" basis, leads to a more accurate reflection of environmental impact. For more information on source measure of energy consumption, please visit: For Energy Efficiency and Environmental Benefit, Consider the Source.
AGA and NRDC Join Forces to Promote Full-Fuel-Cycle Measurement for Energy Efficiency Standards - The American Gas Association (AGA) has released a joint statement with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) supporting the recommendations of the National Academies that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) move toward the use of a full-fuel-cycle measurement of energy consumption for assessment of national and environmental impacts, especially levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Read the full text of the statement.
AGA Letter to CEQ Urging Inclusion of Source Energy in Executive Order - Sept. 4, 2009
Study by National Academies confirms that full fuel cycle measurement is the best method to set energy efficiency standards - On May 27, 2009, the National Academies recognized the importance of measuring efficiency by this method, in its report to Congress, Review of Site (Point-of-Use) and Full-Fuel-Cycle Measurement Approaches to DOE/EERE Building Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards. The highly esteemed National Academies (NA) comprises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.
The report found that the Department of Energy (DOE) should consider changing its measurement of appliance energy efficiency to one based on the full-fuel-cycle, which takes into account the amount of energy produced and lost from the point of production to the final point of use. This more accurate measurement would provide consumers with more complete information on energy use and environmental impacts. Read the full report.
Help for Low-Income Customers
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal block grant program that provides financial assistance to low- and fixed-income individuals for fuel and utility bills and for low-cost weatherization and energy-related home repairs. In addition, natural gas utilities deliver programs that assist low-income customers with bill payments, utilizing LIHEAP funds as well as ratepayer and/or shareholder funds. Learn more about AGA support for LIHEAP and how it helps low-income customers.