The more than 41,500 National Grid customers in Rhode Island (US) who participated in the company’s 2014 energy efficiency programmes can expect to save a combined $427 million over the 13 year lifetime of the programmes.
The 2014 annual energy efficiency report recently filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission also shows that electric customers saved a record 268,468MWh of electricity through energy efficiency.
Big energy savings for Rhode Island’s customers
This most recent result makes Rhode Island number one nationally in electricity savings as a percentage of electricity demand. The number of participating customers increased 7% over 2013 totals, with many customers taking advantage of more than one energy efficiency programme offered by the company.
“National Grid has a 25-year history of designing and managing energy efficiency programmes,” said Timothy F. Horan, president of National Grid in Rhode Island. “To translate that experience into savings for our customers is gratifying. It’s also a very real example of how we partner with customers to help reduce their energy costs as well as help drive the local economy.”
The electric savings accounted for approximately $377 million of the total lifetime savings. Gas customers saved more than 409,000 million BTUs during the year. That translates into a $50 million savings over the programme lifetimes.
To achieve these savings, the company invested more than $101.6 million in electric and natural gas programmes designed to reduce energy use, save money for customers, improve the environment and improve the health, comfort and safety or homes and businesses.
The budget for the current calendar year is $110 million. Funding for these programmes is paid through the energy efficiency charge on customer bills.
Rhode Island’s energy efficiency strategy
Last year, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency Program Plan for Rhode Island. The plan features goals and strategies for saving energy and reducing bills that will allow Rhode Island to provide low-cost, clean energy to homes and businesses. The three-year energy efficiency plan was developed collaboratively by key stakeholders representing a wide range of consumer and environmental interests, including the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, the Office of Energy Resources, The Energy Council of Rhode Island, Consumers’ Energy Alliance, and National Grid.
The energy efficiency programme is meant to help Rhode Island attain a sustainable economy and clean energy future.
Energy efficiency is a proven strategy for boosting Rhode Island’s economy and saving consumers money. Between 2012 and 2014, Rhode Islanders’ investments in energy efficiency met 6,200GWh of electric demand at a cost of approximately 4 cents per kWh instead of more than 8 cents per kWh if that demand had to be met through energy purchases. This is equal to $320 million in direct savings to Rhode Island consumers. Since 2008, Rhode Island has invested about $558 million in energy efficiency and consumers have realized $1.9 billion in benefits.
By investing in as much low-cost energy efficiency as possible, the Island is reducing business costs in the state and leaving consumers with more money in their pockets. Such consumer savings are often spent locally while while payments to fossil fuel providers head immediately out of state. Every dollar invested in cost-effective energy efficiency boosts the Rhode Island Gross State Product an estimated $3.60 and every $1 million invested in energy efficiency generates almost 40 job years of employment.
If fully implemented, the 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency Procurement Plan will boost Rhode Island’s economy by $1.27 billion and create over 11,000 job-years economy-wide.