Energy efficiency retrofits undoubtedly cut costs in the first year and beyond. Still, the amount of that cumulative savings may surprise you. Like interest compounding on your bank savings, a small investment this year continues to pay dividends for decades to come.
Recently The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit organization working to advance policies, programs, and technologies in the area of energy efficiency, released the results of its study assessing electrical savings from utility sector energy efficiency programs by year. This study looked at both incremental annual savings, or the cost reduction consumers realized from measures installed that year, along with their total annual savings, or cost reductions realized from measures installed both that year and in the years prior.
The study found that the savings generated through energy efficiency programs, like those offered by your local electricity provider, have gone up considerably over the past 15 years. Those cost savings are expected to continue growing as innovations are introduced to help utility consumers better gauge their energy use and more states look to reach their conservation goals.
Analyzing electrical savings from utility sector energy efficiency programs using data compiled from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Form 861, as well as its Annual Energy Review, ACEEE noted a 26.5 billion kWh savings generated from measures implemented in 2014 along with more than 180 billion kWh total annual savings that same year. Compare this to just around 5 billion kWh and 50 billion kWh respectively in 1999. Most of the savings growth, however, was realized since the mid-2000s when the size and scope of these programs grew considerably. Energy efficiency programs are now in place in every state across the nation.