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Due in large part to SWEEP’s advocacy efforts, funding for electric utility energy efficiency and demand-side management (DSM) programs in the region increased from about $21 million in 2001 to about $390 million in 2017.
The annual energy savings from electric utility DSM programs in the region increased from 625 GWh per year in 2006 to 2,400 GWh per year in 2017. SWEEP has helped utilities expand the scope and increase the impact of their efficiency programs.
Households and businesses in the region are expected save $7.5 billion as a result of utility energy efficiency programs implemented in the region over the past decade. Much of this savings would not be realized without SWEEP’s efforts.
Southwestern utilities and states are implementing a number of innovative energy efficiency programs proposed by SWEEP including programs to support multifamily housing retrofits, LED lighting, WiFi-enabled smart thermostats, and Strategic Energy Management.
The region has avoided the need for nine large baseload power plants as a result of utility energy efficiency programs implemented over the past decade. SWEEP’s efforts have yielded substantial pollutant emissions reductions and water savings, in addition to economic benefits.
States in the region enacted dozens of laws to advance more efficient energy use that SWEEP proposed or influenced. These laws:
Scaled up of utility efficiency programs;
Strengthened building energy codes;
Imposed minimum energy efficiency standards on light bulbs and other products;
Offered tax incentives to encourage highly efficient buildings or purchase of EVs;
Set energy savings goals for public buildings, and;
Established new energy efficiency financing mechanisms.
Arizona adopted some of the strongest energy efficiency requirements for investor-owned electric utilities in the nation, requiring electricity savings of 20% by 2020. SWEEP actively supported and this policy and helped prevent it from being weakened.
Utah and many larger municipalities in Arizona, Nevada and Colorado adopted either the 2015 or 2018 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). SWEEP played a key role in educating policy makers about the benefits of state-of-the-art building energy codes.
As a result of SWEEP’s efforts, Colorado adopted ten laws to promote purchase of electric vehicles and to enable cities and counties to invest a portion of their gasoline tax revenue in mass transit systems and non-motorized transport. Utah also adopted three laws to promote the purchase of EVs and investment in charging infrastructure, and Nevada passed one law promoting investment in charging infrastructure.
SWEEP played a large role in the development of the REV West MOU, a cooperative agreement among eight western states to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure along all of the interstate highways linking the states. SWEEP successfully advocated for four states (Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah) to invest VW settlement funds in implementing the agreement.
SWEEP’s advocacy efforts were central to the decision by Colorado Governor Hickenlooper to issue executive orders in 2017 and 2018 that required the development of a state EV plan and direct a state agency rulemaking for adoption of California’s Advanced Clean Car standards.
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
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