The National Governor’s Association (NGA) has released a new paper, its findings indicating that states have taken a large role in working to increase energy efficiency in the United States. Many individual states have led efforts to help consumers lower their energy costs, thus contributing further to the progress the country has made. Some energy policies have aided in the reduction of environmental impacts of energy production, a reduction in energy spending, and in curbing the need to make investments in new power plants.
The paper, which can be located and downloaded at the NGA website, is called An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors. The document summarizes and then details many steps a variety of governors have taken to advance energy efficiency without diminishing service levels. The executive summary of the paper provides an overview of state contributions to progress nationally, and it details a few specific examples of actions taken in furthering that progress.
Some of the actions, or those that were coincidentally similar, were taken across a number of states. A few of the common aims were to enact improvements in upgrading appliances and to stimulate improvements in lighting and heating. Some states, as described in the paper, experienced benefits such as job creation and reductions in energy bills. After clarifying why the governors decided to pursue the energy saving policies, the paper outlined several examples of specific actions taken.
Improving energy efficiency rules and standards:
According to the paper, this was a common goal across several states. It explains that twenty-seven states set EERS (energy efficiency resource standards) and that many other states established benchmarking, energy codes and appliance standards for energy performance levels.
State energy planning and analysis:
The paper details an array of steps at least thirty-nine states have taken to assess supply and demand, explore economic development, analyze costs, and further examine policy options. Understanding energy savings and subsequent setting of goals were common elements of the planning.
Incentivize spending by utilities:
State funding of programs such as DSMs (demand-side management) and PBFs (public benefit funds) also contributed to efficiency efforts. Some state regulators have additionally begun efforts to incentivize utilities to deploy efficiency measures.
Financing and repayment innovations:
Combining state funds and private-sector capital has helped some states to innovate and expand on traditional efficiency spending. Bonds and revolving loans are among the examples explained in the paper.
Education and outreach:
Some states have discovered that educating consumers and businesses is an effective way to encourage energy saving actions.
Partnerships for next generation development:
Some states have also discovered that partnerships with the private sector and universities are effective in motivating research and development in the next generations.
More details and a download of the paper are available at the NGA website, <a href=”http://www.nga.org”>here</a>.