The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions are seeing unprecedented savings in electricity and natural gas use, thanks to a combined commitment to invest over $2.5 billion dollars in energy efficiency through 2013, according to a report by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships.
The third annual Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policy in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States examines overall policy trends, provides snapshots on state progress and pitfalls, and gauges states’ progress toward capturing cost-effective energy efficiency as the region’s first-order resource to help meet energy demand as cleanly and cheaply as possible.
Over the last year, NEEP saw states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic putting more of their energy dollars towards cost-effective efficiency as a first order resource, according to Natalie Treat, Policy Outreach Manager at NEEP.
Leading state such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York continued to set the bar higher. These smart states are reaching more customers with what Treat terms “innovative, comprehensive efficiency programs” — while keeping more energy resources in-state by turning them into good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector, rather than sending them up the chimney, she said.
Other key findings include:
- All states in the region reaffirmed the importance of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative by lowering the cap on emissions.
- States are grappling with the same challenges — how to fund efficiency for oil heated homes, how to coordinate state-wide programs to make access easier for customers, how to reach more homes and businesses, and how to go deeper with efficiency projects.
- In states like Maryland and New York, important proceedings were established that could revamp their energy efficiency portfolio standards.
- In states like Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island, important legislative and regulatory actions will allow their states to continue to expand investments in customer energy efficiency programs which will help drive down utility costs for all.