قرار دادن کف در صرفه جویی انرژی : مقایسه استانداردهای بهره وری منابع انرژی دولت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4770||2013||15 صفحه PDF||29 صفحه WORD|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Utilities Policy, Volume 25, June 2013, Pages 43–57
Energy efficiency resource standards (EERS) refer to policies that require utilities and other covered entities to achieve quantitative goals for reducing energy use by a certain year. EERS policies generally apply to electricity and natural gas sales and electricity peak demand, though they also cover other energy sources in Europe. Our study aggregates information about the requirements of existing EERS policies for electricity sales in the United States. We convert quantitative goals into comparable terms to compare the nominal stringency of EERS programs across states. EERS programs also differ in their nonquantitative requirements, including flexibility measures; measurement and verification programs; and penalties and positive incentives. We compare the U.S. policies to similar policies in Europe and discuss important policy issues, including exogenous changes in fuel prices and issues with utility management of energy efficiency programs.
Out of concern for environmental harm, climate change, and the expense of generation and transmission capacity to meet peak demands, governments have been looking at a wide range of policies to change the amount of energy we use and the portfolio of fuels used to generate it. Among the policies that have been considered are carbon taxes, marketable emissions permit (cap-and-trade) programs, renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and clean energy standards (CES), real-time retail electricity pricing, demand response programs (such as critical peak period rebates or utility air conditioner controls), and programs to promote energy efficiency (i.e., the use of equipment and appliances that use less electricity or gas to provide a given level of service). One type of policy receiving increased attention, particularly at the state level in the United States but also in Europe, is the energy efficiency resource standard (EERS). We describe the individual standards in more detail below, but in general, EERS programs consist of mandates to reduce the use of electricity and natural gas by some prescribed percentage or amount, by some prescribed time (Nadel, 2006). Twenty states have adopted EERS programs. Maryland's EmPower program, for example, envisions reducing electricity use per capita by 15 percent of 2007 levels by 2015 (Maryland Energy Administration, 2008). State statutes and public utility commission orders that establish or implement EERS policies cite a largely homogenous list of reasons for enacting the standards. Common rationales include: environmental and public health benefits, green jobs creation, deferment of electricity infrastructure improvements, greenhouse gas reductions, energy savings, reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and energy security. For example, the 2006 California Assembly Bill No. 20211 states that, “Expanding California's energy efficiency programs will promote lower energy bills, protect public health, improve environmental quality, stimulate sustainable economic development, create new employment opportunities, and reduce reliance on imported fuels.”2 We take a close look at different features of the EERS policies for electricity that have been adopted in the states. We assess the relative stringency of different state policies; the role of different flexibility mechanisms; approaches to evaluation, measurement, and verification; and penalties for noncompliance. We also describe the differences in regulatory incentives for utility efficiency programs. To facilitate comparison of policy stringency across the states, we translate each state's nominal EERS policy goal into comparable annual energy savings and compare this goal to the state's covered and total energy sales. We also briefly survey similar policies in Europe, highlighting the ways in which they differ from U.S. policies. Further, we discuss a number of important implementation challenges, including interactions with other policies, effects of exogenous fuel and electricity price changes, and advantages and disadvantages of implementing the policy through utilities.3 States vary substantially in the stringency and flexibility of their EERS policies, but in general we found the EERS policies to be quite stringent. The policies require reductions on average equal to 12.7 percent of covered load and 11.5 percent of total state load. These values are well in excess of past energy efficiency requirements, though within the range of energy savings from energy efficiency programs expected over the next decade by experts in the field.4 States also vary in the flexibility of their policies. Currently, 13 states explicitly allow one or more of a broader set of efficiency investments beyond those that target reductions in customer use of electricity to be eligible for compliance, but only two states allow efficiency credit banking. Seven states have explicit penalties for noncompliance, and an additional ten states have financial rewards for compliance that create implicit penalties at the margin. In virtually all cases, EERS standards require the energy efficiency programs used to produce energy savings to pass a cost benefit test where the benefits of savings depend on the costs of producing electricity. As a result the effects of EERS policies are potentially sensitive—in unexpected ways—to changes in the underlying economics of electricity supply. Last, the role that regulated utilities should play in the provision of energy efficiency services is debatable. The current practice in many states of relying primarily on regulated utilities to deliver energy efficiency services may be more the result of political considerations than of economic efficiency. Although we focus our empirical analysis on electricity use EERS policies, we expect that our methods will apply in the electricity peak demand and natural gas use settings. We hope that this exercise provides a basis for further research, particularly in testing the effectiveness of EERS policies and comparing them to other energy and environmental policies. These two challenges are particularly formidable as many of these programs are new. In addition, because states do not choose to adopt EERS policies at random, empirical testing of their effects becomes significantly more difficult. This review should be of interest, not just to other states that are considering the adoption of EERS programs, but also to the federal government, which might look to an EERS as an alternative to politically infeasible emissions tax or cap-and-trade programs.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
EERS policies have been adopted in 20 U.S. states and in three European countries. They can take numerous forms, varying by which energy sources they include, whether targeted reductions are specific amounts or a percentage of use in a specific past year or change over time, and whether the targeted reductions have to be achieved in the last year of the EERS or accumulated over the lifetime of the EERS. In general, we find these policies to be very stringent, with an average required reduction of 12.7 percent of covered load and 11.5 percent of total state load. Only two states allow credit banking, but several allow energy savings resulting from investments to reduce transmission and distribution losses, CHP systems, and other improvements in generation efficiency to qualify for EERS credits. Most states have an explicit or implicit penalty for noncompliance with savings targets, although measuring energy savings typically is a matter of verifying installations and using engineering methods to assign savings instead of a true empirically based comparison of energy use before and after a measure has been installed. Such measures need to account for the possibilities that some energy users would have made energy efficiency investments absent the EERS-supported programs and that, following such investments, consumers may increase their use of more efficient equipment, reducing the actual energy savings. An EERS policy, which is typically one of a suite of policies affecting the electricity sector, may interact with other policies. Depending on how the EERS policy is specified, changes in fuel supplies, such as the recent increase in natural gas production associated with the exploitation of shale deposits, could have important consequences for EERS stringency and ease of compliance that may work at cross purposes, particularly when only “cost-effective” energy efficiency programs qualify for meeting EERS goals. Having utilities serve as the main provider of energy efficiency results in potentially efficiency-enhancing increases in electricity prices but may also unduly limit innovation and other benefits that could result from greater competition in the supply of efficiency-enhancing investments. Our hope is that describing EERS programs and examining these issues will be useful as policy makers in other states, the U.S. government, and countries around the world consider whether and how to include an EERS in their portfolios of energy policies.