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

April 16, 2014

Report: States Achieve Big Savings with Energy Efficiency Targets

Energy-efficiency targets implemented in half of U.S. states in 2012 saved enough electricity to power 2 million homes for a year, according to a new report released April 9 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report, Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: A New Progress Report on State Experience also finds that most states met or exceeded their targets and that these targets are making substantial contributions to national energy savings.

Texas was the first state to set efficiency targets, also called an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS), in 1999. Since then, half of the states in the country have followed suit, setting long-term targets designed to spur electricity and natural gas savings. Prompted by EERS policies, utilities in these states have invested in energy efficiency programs ranging from appliance rebates to whole-building retrofits. In Arkansas, utilities worked with customers to replace water heaters, weatherize homes, and find energy savings for poultry producers. In Wisconsin, "Focus on Energy" programs have helped residents and businesses achieve more than $730 million in savings by replacing refrigerators, offering incentives for energy-efficient heating, and conducting free energy assessments for small businesses. See the ACEEE press release and the complete ACEEE report.