Little Rock – A new order issued by the Arkansas Public Service Commission will reinforce Arkansas’s reputation as a leader in energy efficiency, the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association said today.
Utility energy efficiency savings targets will be increased to 1.20% of 2018 baseline sales for electric utilities and maintained at 0.50% of 2018 baseline sales for gas utilities for the next three-year cycle, 2020-2022, the Commission announced Friday.
In reaching its decision, the Commission concurred with recommendations from AAEA, Audubon Arkansas and Sierra Club to increase the goal for electric utilities, currently set at 1.0% savings for 2019. Commissioners approved the consensus recommendation made by the Parties Working Collaboratively – the state’s investor-owned electric and gas companies, the Commission’s General Staff, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, AAEA, Audubon Arkansas and Sierra Club – to maintain the current goal of 0.50% for gas utilities.
“Arkansas is recognized as a leader in the energy efficiency sector, not just in the Southeast but at a national level, due to the strong policies we have established,” AAEA Executive Director Katie Laning Niebaum said. “These energy efficiency programs have proven to be an important economic driver for Arkansas and advanced energy technologies. The Commission’s ruling will help ensure we continue along an upward path to maximize economic benefits.”
In their order, the Commissioners pointed to comments from AAEA, Audubon and Sierra recognizing that electric utilities have exceeded the 1.0% in energy savings in the past two years. The Commissioners write:
“The Commission agrees that Recommendation 2 [by AAEA, Audubon Arkansas and Sierra Club] is consistent with the policy goal of capturing all cost-effective, achievable savings; promotes the policy objective of program comprehensiveness; provides ratepayers with increased opportunity to achieve substantial economic benefits that will be forgone if targets are set to maintain lower levels of savings; and provides for the payment of shareholder incentives that are commensurate with the level of achievement of potential economic benefits returned to ratepayers. The Commission believes that Recommendation 2 will encourage the electric utilities to continue to improve and expand the scope of Energy Efficiency program activity so that all customers have the opportunity to realize direct economic benefits of end-use energy efficiency.” (page 10)
Order No. 43 in Docket No. 13-002-U can be read in full here.
The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) is the business voice for advanced energy in Arkansas. AAEA is dedicated to growing Arkansas’s economy through expanded utilization of advanced energy technologies, including energy efficiency, demand response, natural gas electric generation, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, alternative fuels and smart grid. These are innovations that make our energy supply more secure, clean and affordable. Visit arkansasadvancedenergy.com, and find us on Facebook and Twitter.