FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 11, 2013

Contacts: Shelly Baron, 501-537-0190 or 
Steve Patterson, 501-537-0190 or

AAEA, Collaborative To Play Key Role in Future of EE Programs

Little Rock, AR – A three-year extension of energy efficiency programs operated by Arkansas’s seven public utilities reached an important milestone this month as the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) issued an order that outlines how the utilities and their collaborating parties, including AAEA, will proceed.

The newest order issued on October 1 in Docket 13-002-U, represents a clear determination by the Commission that the first three-year phase of the state’s Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, created December 2010 and ending this year, was a tremendous success. 

According to Dr. Katherine Johnson, who drafted an independent assessment of the state EE programs, “customer satisfaction was overwhelmingly positive across the entire Arkansas energy efficiency portfolio with high marks for all aspects of the program operations..”

With all but one of Arkansas’s seven public utilities exceeding their energy savings goals within the state’s Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, the APSC set a 2015 goal for electric utilities of .9% of 2014 retail kwh sales and for natural gas utilities, .5% of 2014 retail natural gas sales.

The Commission also authorized a study to determine savings goals for the entire second, three-year phase of EERS, 2015-17, with a promise to revisit the 2015 goal if data from the study justifies any changes.

“As a result of the original EERS order in December, 2010, energy efficiency is now a way of life for ratepayers and a significant component in the generation capacity of Arkansas’s public utilities,” said Ken Smith, policy director at AAEA.  “Other southeastern states like Louisiana and Mississippi are now modeling their EE programs based on best practices established by the Arkansas experience.”

In its Oct. 1 order, the APSC also proposed significant changes to current EE programs, higher incentives, revision of the Total Resource Cost (TRC) test for cost-effectiveness, inclusion of additional costs to determine avoided capacity and energy costs and a new range of non-energy benefits from EE programs.

As an intervening party in the EERS extension docket, AAEA has participated in the Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC) since January to seek agreement on such issues as procedural timelines, utility incentive structures and measurement of avoided costs.

The Commission and the PWC has been committed to long-term delivery of EE programs to all utility customers.

With research and expertise supplied by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation (AAEF), AAEA has sought a more robust EE incentive program by utilities to achieve at least one percent reduction per year for electric utilities and .6% per year for gas utilities.  In addition, AAEF supplied recommendations from a study by HISTECON Associates and the Institute for Economic Advancement at UALR regarding avoided costs and non-energy benefits.

“This docket has highlighted the capacity of both AAEA and AAEF to engage in public policies that dramatically impact the advanced energy industry in Arkansas,” said Steve Patterson, executive director for both organizations.  “We must stay engaged in deliberations at the APSC that determine the future of energy consumption in Arkansas and our businesses that manufacture and deliver EE materials and services must stay engaged with our legislature and the Arkansas public regarding the tremendous economic impact of advanced energy.”

The working collaborative will file by January 10, 2014, a process for the collaborative to continue working through the next three years and the PSC is schedule to finalize details of the second, three-year phase after June, 2014.

The entire Order #7, which also includes terms for re-design of the state weatherization program, can be found here.  

Arkansas Advanced Energy Association is a business group dedicated to growing Arkansas’s economy by expanding our energy workforce and manufacturing base through the increased development, manufacture, and utilization of advanced energy technologies. 

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation is the educational affiliate of the AAEA. The Foundation promotes greater public understanding of advanced energy in Arkansas through research, public education programs and economic and workforce development. The Foundation is dedicated to informing the energy policy debate with well-researched, fact-based data on the advanced energy economy in Arkansas and by providing a public forum where state leaders can address Arkansas’s energy challenges for the future.

Report Shows Global Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy
A new report released in January 2013 by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) shows that advanced energy was a $1.1 trillion global market in 2011, larger than pharmaceutical manufacturing worldwide. The first-ever analysis of the advanced energy sector also shows that the market in the U.S. represents a significant part of the nation’s economy, with $132 billion in revenue in 2011, and a 19 percent growth rate estimated for 2012, with U.S. revenue rising to $157 billion. Read the full report here:

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