Compared to programs targeted at other sectors, industrial efficiency programs offer significant energy-saving opportunities at a relatively low cost, yet many large energy users have barely tapped their industrial energy efficiency potential. To help communicate the value of commercial and industrial (C&I) energy efficiency, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has released four new fact sheets examining different aspects of industrial efficiency programs.
According to a white paper by the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action), on a national level, the industrial sector saves more energy per program dollar than do other customer classes. Industrial programs can help states comply with the Clean Power Plan, while improving productivity and competitiveness for manufacturers and keeping energy costs low for all customers.
First, however, your board and large account representatives must fully understand the benefits of C&I programs and be prepared to make the business case for them to your customers. Start by sharing these fact sheets with your staff:
- Industrial Efficiency Programs Can Achieve Large Energy Savings at Low Cost cites statistics from programs across the country supporting the cost-effectiveness of implementing industrial efficiency measures. Because industrial customers often represent the majority of a utility’s energy demand, building strong relationships with a few of the largest energy users is an effective use of program resources. You will also find tips from SEE Action for designing effective offerings.
- The Dollars and Cents of Industrial Efficiency Program Investment explains how combining industrial customer investments in energy efficiency combine with utility infrastructure investments to yield deep energy savings with medium-term paybacks. Industrial customers can often be persuaded to make investments with longer payback periods when utility programs address capital planning processes and financial hurdles. A list of the broader benefits of energy efficiency to the business, the utility and the community could help to sell the partnering strategy to your board.
All 50 states have mandated a ratepayer-funded energy-efficiency program that counts efficiency as a resource and provides a mechanism for funding customer projects that reduce energy use. However, some of these laws allow businesses to opt out of funding and participating in the programs, or that allow customers to control some or all of their efficiency fees. These fact sheets clarify these exemptions and discuss the often- misunderstood implications of such policies:
- Overview of Large-Customer Self-Direct Options for Energy Efficiency Programs outlines the status of self-direct programs and opt-out provisions by state, and includes tips for designing successful self-direct programs. If the biggest energy consumers do not participate in a program designed to spread the cost of efficiency across all customer sectors, all customers miss out on the the benefits of efficiency. Alternatively, the self-direct option gives C&I customers the flexibility to design programs that meet their business needs while ensuring measurable and verifiable energy savings. The fact sheet also identifies key elements in successful self-direct provisions.
- Myths and Facts about Industrial Opt-Out Provisions busts commonly held misconceptions that lead policy makers to include opt-out provisions in energy-efficiency programs. This fact sheet may be particularly useful where lawmakers and big energy users are pushing to add opt-out provisions to an effective existing program.
Links to all four of these fact sheets can be found in Energy Services publications, along with other resources on technology and programs.