Blog


Utilities Engage Industrial Customers in Strategic Energy Management

Training and coaching programs can save significant energy
Utilities Engage Industrial Customers in Strategic Energy Management
As utilities look for new programs to help achieve their energy savings goals, it makes sense to consider enhancing the programs for industrial and other large customers. In addition to prescriptive and custom incentive programs, the best industrial programs include good-quality technical assistance and allow longer time-frames to complete projects. Some programs also offer multi-year planning assistance and bonus incentives to help get larger projects implemented. Building on this... More
 

Colorado Hits the Accelerator for Electric Vehicles!

Colorado Hits the Accelerator for Electric Vehicles!
Colorado has strengthened its claim to being a national leader in promoting electric vehicles with the passage of HB 1332 legislation that is designed to make the state income tax credit for electric vehicles more effective at increasing EV sales. The bill makes two major changes – simplifying the tax credit, and making the credits assignable, allowing them to function more like a point of sale rebate. The Washington Post and Time Magazine describe this bill as making Colorado the best state to ... More
 

Is 9 Times 12 Good for Energy Efficiency in Buildings?

This year, maybe not
Is 9 Times 12 Good for Energy Efficiency in Buildings?
The answer is 108, and it’s the number of hours that stakeholders spent assembling the ingredients for the next iteration of building energy codes—or what’s known as the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The outcome from the first hearings this year did not bode well for energy efficiency and the gains that have been made in the energy codes since the 2009 IECC. Southwest officials will need to speak up, attend and vote in October to make sure energy efficiency remains an... More
 

The Supreme Court Did Not "Stay" Energy Efficiency

The Supreme Court Did Not "Stay" Energy Efficiency
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included many references to energy efficiency as a strategy to achieve Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance and encouraged states and utilities to pursue this path. Even though the Supreme Court of the United States has issued a “stay” on the CPP, some states are moving ahead with CPP planning and/or related efforts. We appreciate these efforts as the CPP represents a significant step forward in our nation’s efforts to mitigate against climate change. ... More
 

Sensible Rate Design for Residential and Small Business Customers

Sensible Rate Design for Residential and Small Business Customers
With growth in electricity sales disappearing and adoption of rooftop solar systems expanding, electric utilities are increasingly proposing new rate designs in order to protect and stabilize their revenues. SWEEP participates in rate cases throughout the Southwest to challenge these utility proposals, ensure that rates continue to encourage greater energy efficiency, and help protect low-income consumers. Many utilities are proposing to increase the monthly fixed charge and... More
 

How to Double or Triple Electric Vehicle Sales in Your Community

How to Double or Triple Electric Vehicle Sales in Your Community
Are you interested in doubling or tripling electric vehicle sales in your area? Communities across the Southwest have found an innovative way to significantly increase electric vehicle sales: a group purchase program that provides a time limited opportunity for their residents to get discounts on purchasing an electric vehicle. Here are the results to date: In one Colorado program in Adams, Boulder and Denver Counties, 248 Nissan Leafs were sold in 4 months, more than doubling... More
 

DOE Releases New Energy Savings Calculator

This time, it’s online and can be customized
DOE Releases New Energy Savings Calculator
Back in mid-2012, almost four years ago, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) released a number of state energy cost and savings reports for single family and multi-family homes. Those sleek and colorful reports compared energy and cost savings between a new home and the equivalent home built to conform to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The reports were used extensively across the country to show building officials, utilities, local governmental leaders... More
 

How Leading Utilities are Embracing Electric Vehicles

A business owner has the chance to expand her market and immediately increase sales.  She jumps at the opportunity, right? Electric vehicles (EVs) offer electric utilities exactly that type of opportunity to increase sales. And leading utilities across the United States are taking notice and embracing plug-in cars. This blog highlights several key points from a new SWEEP report that describes the opportunities and challenges that electric vehicles present to utilities.  It reviews why utilities should embrace EVs and what leading utilities across the country are already doing to increase adoption of electric vehicles. 

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Pro-Benchmarking is Pro-Business—And Here's Why

Pro-Benchmarking is Pro-Business—And Here
More information is better. More information helps businesses make better and smarter investment decisions. But when it comes to investing in commercial real estate, a key piece of information is missing: energy costs. Energy represents 30 percent of the typical office building’s operating costs and is a property’s single largest operating expense. Yet energy usage information is hidden when a commercial business or investor is considering buying or leasing a property. Even a building’s... More
 

Staying the Course: Despite Supreme Court Decision on Clean Power Plan, Progress Continues

Energy efficiency policies and programs are generally scaling up across the southwest
Staying the Course: Despite Supreme Court Decision on Clean Power Plan, Progress Continues
The Supreme Court recently took the unprecedented action of "staying" the Clean Power Plan prior to its review by the U.S. Court of Appeals. This means the Clean Power Plan will not go into effect while the litigation is pending. However, this does not mean that efforts to reduce the harmful carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will or should stop in southwest states or elsewhere. Nor does it mean that efforts to accelerate cost-effective energy efficiency improvements will or should slow ... More
 

Utilities are Heading Upstream to Increase Energy Efficiency

Utilities are Heading Upstream to Increase Energy Efficiency
Midstream utility energy efficiency programs provide utility-funded incentives to equipment distributors and contractors to stock and sell energy efficient measures, such as commercial lighting products and heating and cooling equipment. By contrast, downstream programs pay incentives directly to consumers or businesses that purchase energy-efficient products. SWEEP has discussed the advantages of upstream and midstream program designs over traditional downstream designs here. Programs... More
 

Innovative SW Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs

Innovative SW Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs
Focused on their short-term profitability and survival, many industrial facilities are only willing to invest in energy efficiency projects if they pay for themselves in 1 to 2 years. Yet there are very significant energy savings available in these facilities through projects with payback periods from 2 to 8 years. Several utilities in the Southwest have developed innovative programs that are leveraging this potential and helping industrial customers achieve significant energy efficiency... More
 
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