The Potential Value of ESPC Energy Efficiency Savings Under EPA’s Pending 111(d) Standard for Existing Power Plants

State ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs approved and overseen by the states and operated by utilities invest more than $6 billion annually and typically have energy savings verified through independent evaluation utilizing protocols unique to each state. This diversity offers limited means to make comparisons across states and sometimes across utilities within states.

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News & Notes

Dr. James R. Schlesinger, the first head of the Department of Energy, passed away on March 27 in Baltimore. He was 85. When Jimmy Carter became president, he named Schlesinger, a Republican, as his top energy policy advisor. Schlesinger’s first task was to organize dozens of small energy agencies, field offices, and research centers into the new, cabinet-level Department of Energy.

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People on the Move

A summary of who’s in and who’s out of the nation’s top energy jobs.

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Reaching Energy Efficiency Goals Through Affordable Housing Retrofits

Meeting our nation’s energy demand through efficiency improvements is more cost-effective than investing in new sources of energy generation. Not surprisingly then, states across the country have increased their commitment to energy efficiency programs in order to achieve the environmental and economic benefits that result from these investments.

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Nine major cities in the United States now require building owners to benchmark and disclose the energy consumption of their buildings. Several states also benchmark all state-funded facilities. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that between 2008 and 2011, on more than 35,000 buildings with monitored energy consumption, average energy reduction was 2.4% per year and more than 7% over the 3-year period. It may be true that you cannot manage what you do not measure, but measurement is not enough.

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The End of Wind Tax Credits?

Congress allowed some 55 tax breaks to expire on December 31. Among them was a spate of tax breaks for green energy initiatives, including for electricity-generating wind farms.

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News & Notes

In a decision that could have far-reaching impacts on the solar industry, the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) voted in November to allow the state’s largest utility to charge a monthly fee to customers who install photovoltaic panels on their roofs.

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People on the Move

Arkansas Public Service Commission chair Colette Honorable was elected president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) at the organization’s 125th annual meeting in November. She succeeds outgoing president Philip Jones of Washington State. NARUC members also elected commissioners Lisa Edgar of Florida as first vice president, and Susan Ackerman of Oregon as second vice president. All officers will serve one-year terms.

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Beltway Roundup

To the surprise of many in Washington, D.C., Congress and President Obama came to terms on an FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3547). The 1,582-page bill, which covers all 12 individual appropriations bills, was signed by the president on January 17. Of special interest to state and local energy officials, the Weatherization Assistance Program received $174 million (up from $68 million in FY2012 and $138 million in FY2013), the State Energy Program received $50 million, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program received $3.425 billion.

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Energy Round Table with Melanie Kenderdine and Karen Wayland

Last summer, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a reorganization of the DOE’s management structure to help it achieve the department’s—and the president’s—key objectives, including the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. One area Secretary Moniz called out was the DOE’s energy policy and analysis capabilities, saying consolidation would enable the department to take a better systems approach to policy analysis. Thus, he created the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis (EPSA) to deliver unbiased analysis of energy systems to the DOE’s leadership.

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