FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December, 11, 2015

Steve Patterson, 501-537-0190 or
Mollie Campbell, 501-537-0190 or

LITTLE ROCK, Dec. 11, 2015: An order issued Thursday, Dec. 10 by the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) could potentially assure a more robust array of customer offerings within the state’s utility energy efficiency programs in the years ahead, the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association said today.

In ruling that certain Non-Energy Benefits (NEBs) for customers can be included in the cost-effectiveness test for energy efficiency programs, the Commissioners settled one of three remaining outstanding issues before it can draft a final order in Docket 13-002-U to continue and enhance the state’s utility energy efficiency programs.

The other issues are carbon costs and the annual savings targets for the state’s seven public utilities. Stakeholders in the proceedings identified as the Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC) that include AAEA have been meeting since January 2013 to address multiple issues before the commission as it seeks to extend the comprehensive utility EE programs that were established in 2010.

The Commissioners stated in Order No. 30 on Thursday that NEBs will be consistently and transparently accounted for in cost-effectiveness tests under three categories:
1) benefits of electricity, natural gas, and liquid propane energy savings;
2) benefits of public water and wastewater savings;
3) benefits of avoided and deferred equipment replacement costs in certain circumstances.

The ruling conformed to arguments by AAEA and others that inclusion of NEBs in measuring cost-effectiveness of EE programs is consistent with Arkansas law and with previous orders by the Commission.

“This ruling should have a meaningful impact on state advanced energy companies that participate in utility EE programs because it makes more energy efficiency measures cost effective,” said Ken Smith, Policy Director of AAEA, who represents the association in the PWC.

Non-energy ratepayer benefits of EE programs identified by the Commission include reductions in the cost of service such as reduced fuel prices, deferred capacity acquisition, avoided line losses and the deferred need for transmission and distribution infrastructure.

A study released last year by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation found more than 650 Arkansas companies had been engaged by the utilities to deliver their EE programs. These companies account for more than 9,000 jobs.

Report Shows EERS Boosts Arkansas Energy Efficiency Economy by 44% Since 2010
The Energy Efficiency (EE) industry in Arkansas has developed into a strong and reliable job creator in Arkansas since the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) went into effect in January 2011, according to data released by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation (AAEF). Click here for report.

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.

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