This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 23, 2013

LBNL Reports Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs Expanding

By 2025, U.S. electric and natural gas utility customers will double their spending on energy efficiency programs to about $9.5 billion per year, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) researchers. These funds, which come from a charge on utility bills, historically constitute the nation's largest source of spending on programs to foster the adoption of more efficient products and buildings.

According to the LBNL report, U.S. energy efficiency programs funded by utility customers are projected to continue expanding beyond the traditional bastions of energy efficiency in the Northeast and West. By 2025, states in the Midwest and South could account for 49% of total U.S. spending on customer-funded energy efficiency programs, up from 27% in 2010. By 2025, only a handful of states would not have significant customer-funded efficiency programs.

The projected growth in program spending is driven by policies in a number of states requiring that utilities pursue energy savings. Another driver is energy efficiency resource standards, which require electric utilities to meet minimum energy savings goals each year.

The report, The Future of Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs in the United States: Projected Spending and Savings to 2025, was released on January 17 and funded by the Energy Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. See the LBNL press release and the full reportPDF.