DENVER – It’s been five years since leading policy makers in Colorado passed House Bill 1037, legislation that encouraged investor owned utilities to offer energy efficiency programs. Black Hills Energy, one of the seven regulated utilities in Colorado, recently filed their 2012-2015 Demand Side Management plan that includes programs and incentives for energy efficiency solutions.
Multiple stakeholders provided their input for the plan before submission to the Public Utilities Commission. One of those key stakeholders was Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (EEBC), a growing trade association that is promoting job creation and economic development in Colorado. After many years of working with Xcel Energy to support the energy efficiency industry’s goals, this year EEBC has expanded its reach to promote energy efficient throughout the state including Black Hills Energy service area.
“Most often, the utility’s primary goals are to supply reliable and affordable energy to their customers. Utilities have a vested interest in energy efficiency investments as they are the most cost effective solutions to meet those goals,” says, EEBC Executive Director, Eric Van Orden. “When House Bill 1037 was passed five years ago, some utilities were reticent to the idea of selling less of the product they make. But after 5 years, leaders like
Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy have seen the light and the opportunity.”
Black Hill estimates that the levelized cost of energy efficiency programs average less than $.03/kWH. Meanwhile, the national average for production and transmission of electric power is above of $.08/kWH. Additionally, some programs address the peak demand of high-energy use that can be more costly and spread across the entire rate base.
Due in large part to EEBC’s participation, the final plan for energy savings increased by more than 5%, compared to Black Hills Energy’s initial proposal. Over the 3-year period, the final plan from Black Hills Energy estimates energy savings of 78 million kilowatt hours for more than 465,419 products and services.
Many of these services include building improvements by local contractors that add value to homes and create local jobs. Across Colorado, Energy Efficiency Business Coalition estimates more than 14,167 energy efficiency workers including contractors, engineers, manufacturers and other leaders in the industry. “It’s great to see legislation like House Bill 1037, creating a win-win where utilities, energy users and growing energy efficiency businesses all benefit”, said Eric.
About the Energy Efficiency Business Coalition
EEBC is a nonprofit trade association formed in 2007 to provide organized representation for the numerous businesses that are involved in the manufacturing, distribution, installation, sales and marketing of energy efficiency technologies and services. The member-funded coalition works with utilities, municipalities, and government organizations to promote energy efficiency policies and programs that support the business objectives of member businesses.