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Utilities Expect Broad Shift Toward Spending on Efficiency

(This article came from Edison Electric Institute Daily Energy News, with a source from Business Week.)


Utility executives said they anticipated a future in which their utilities invest in energy-efficiency programs on the same rate basis as their current investments in new generation, Business Week reported. California recently approved $3.1 billion of efficiency spending by its utilities. Duke Energy Chairman, President and CEO James E. Rogers predicted that efficiency "is where we will make our money in the future." Rogers expected fundamental changes to the business model for utilities, as they shift earning a negotiated profit on generation and transmission to earning a similar profit on efficiency spending.

PG&E Chairman, CEO and President Peter Darbee noted that efficiency costs consumers "less than half what they pay to help fund a new power project" without producing GHG emissions. While Darbee said some regulators were slow to understand the new landscape, NRG Energy CEO David Crane warned that his industry needed to adjust to competitors in both generation and efficiency. Crane forecast: "If we are not doing things completely differently by 2030, we will be in a world of hurt."

Business Week, Oct. 12.