Efficiency Vermont

Program Type

Utility financing

Program Type - Description

Energy Efficiency Utility using EE funds funded by EE charge collected from all utility bills

Target Group

Large
Cross Sectoral

Geographic coverage

Vermont

Year

2009 to 2011

Ongoing

No

Status

Completed

Sponsoring Entity

Vermont Public Service Board (PSB)
Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) authorized by the Vermont Energy Act of 2009. Vermont PSB created the Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) Efficiency Vermont to use Public Benefits Funds (PBF) to finance EE programs.

Counterpart Entity

Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC)

Implementing Entity

Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC)

Objective

Support EE programs across the state through funding from utility users

Energy Efficiency / GHG Goals

Initial target of 360,000 MWh in energy savings from 2009 and 2011 (about 6.75% of Vermont’s electric energy needs)

Barriers Addressed

  • Conflict that arises when state regulators mandate utilities whose revenues are tied to electricity sales to promote energy efficiency reductions in electricity (and thus, revenues)
  • Lack of funding for EE project upfront investment, now provided through charges collected from utility bills
  • Lack of incentives / objectives that Efficiency Vermont addresses through energy saving targets set up by the state of Vermont (Vermont PSB) hence creating the drive for achieving them
  • Lack of awareness of EE solutions that are addressed through, e.g. ,energy management program that large customers have to implement or training, conferences and technical assistance funded by EEU Efficiency Vermont

Financing Mechanism

Vermont Efficiency receives funds from Vermont PSB which collects charges (Energy Efficiency Charge – EEC) from all utility bills. The funds are used to finance EE programs across the state through direct financing (purchase of EE equipment, rebates, etc.), R&D programs and services or grants / loans.
There are 2 programs for large industrial customers:
- Customers who pay an annual EEC > USD 5k can transfer up to 70% to self-administered EE programs.
- Customers who pay annual EEC above USD 1.5 M are (i) exempted from EEC, (ii) have to pay an annual fee of USD 50k, (iii) have obligation to spend at least an annual average of USD 3 M over 3 years on EE investments and (iv) have to present an energy management program with annual objectives.

Eligibility Criteria

Not specified

Major Activities

Business sector (air conditioning, industrial processes, motors, HVAC, etc.) and residential sector (ENERGY STAR’s Home Performance program)

Key Results

Vermont is ranked fifth overall in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) scorecard  and first for state utility energy efficiency programs .
Based on Efficiency Vermont 2011 Savings Claim, the program achieved  between 2009 and 2011, 304,000 MWh of energy savings representing USD 315 M benefits and 2,135,000 tons of CO2 avoided.
Efficiency savings from 2011 initiatives represented 1.91% as a share of Vermont’s overall electricity needs in 2011.
Savings in the Business New Construction and Existing Business markets in 2011 amounted to 56,000 MWh (about 52% of the 2011 total resources benefits of 108,000MWh ), delivering total resource benefits of USD 54 million (53% of the 2011 total benefits of USD 101.5 M).
The cost of delivered energy efficiency in 2011 was US 4.3 cents/kWh compared to the US 12.1 cents/kWh cost of electricity supply.
The average return on investment for efficiency improvement made by business customers in 2011 was 70%.
 

Lessons Learned

Lessons learnt from the previous assessment period and developed in the 2012 annual plan:

  • Importance of engagement with customers using different approaches and to improve relationship with partners to ensure availability of suitable products and equipment
  • Comprehensive approaches combining information / technical assistance (e.g. cost sharing of engineering analyses, pilot technology testing, site visits, education and information, etc.) and financial assistance (e.g. purchase of equipment)
  • Key segments are lighting, HVAC  , pumps and motors (e.g. variable frequency drives), refrigeration and building insulation
  • The EEU principles and the selection of an independent administrator allowed a fairer allocation of EE projects and funding across the state and removed potential conflict of interest
  • Efficiency Vermont is moving to a 20-year plan for budgets and goals that will be reviewed every 3 years

 

Contact

Efficiency Vermont, 128 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 401, Burlington, VT 05401

See also: www.efficiencyvermont.com