One out every four electricity customers in the nation gets their power from electrical co-ops or small electrical utilities. This report focuses on how these suppliers can create cost-effective, energy efficiency programs with robust community participation.

Cooperative and public power efficiency programs can offer a variety of measures for residential and nonresidential customers; within this WRA report both measures and delivery strategies that have the potential to substantially reduce energy consumption are covered. Common measures include lighting upgrades, shade trees, efficient pool pumps, packages of low-cost efficiency measures, home performance programs, high efficiency motors and drives, more efficient space cooling equipment, more efficient refrigeration equipment, and design of energy-efficient buildings.

Unfortunately, savings from efficiency programs for residential and small business customers have often been disappointing because of low participation rates. To significantly increase participation in energy efficiency programs, delivery strategies need to address a variety of motivations and obstacles. Multiple delivery strategies, combined in an internally consistent program, should create visibility for energy efficiency, overcome high up-front costs of some efficiency measures, change habits, utilize social networks to mobilize resources, seek economies of scale, create social norms, and lead by example. Effective delivery strategies include:

  • Rebates and other financial incentives
  • Large scale give-away programs
  • Partnering with existing organizations
  • Neighborhood programs
  • Joint utility programs
  • On-the-bill financing, and
  • Peer comparisons

Published: 2010

Publication Category: Clean Energy


States: Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana

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