Potential Gains in Energy Efficiency Remain for Seventh Power Plan

Despite success in energy savings, new measures bring new opportunities

A preliminary assessment of potential energy efficiency shows that the region could gain about 5,100 average megawatts over the next 20 years; about 2,700 of that costs less than $40 per megawatt hour.

While the amount is about 1,500 average megawatts lower than the Council's last power plan, as a percentage of loads, its about the same. The region's success in achieving savings since the last plan, along with forecast savings from recently adopted federal standards and state building codes, have reduced potential. The region has surpassed the Council's annual targets every year since 2005. Still, there are a number of new measures and savings from advances in solid-state lighting, control devices, variable refrigerant flow HVAC systems, and efficient data center equipment.

The assessment data are inputs to the Council's regional portfolio model. Along with generation and demand response data, the results from the model will help identify how much of energy efficiency is cost-effective, and will be used to determine the energy efficiency targets in the Council's Seventh Power Plan.