Energy efficiency programs in the United States could realistically reduce the rate of growth for electricity consumption by 22% over the next two decades if key barriers can be addressed, according to a report by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The potential energy savings in 2030 would be 236 billion kilowatt hours, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 14 New York Cities.
The report, "Assessment of Achievable Savings Potential From Energy Efficiency and Demand Response in the U.S.," found that under an ideal set of conditions conducive to energy efficiency programs, the consumption growth rate could be further reduced to as low as 0.68% annually by 2030. However, achieving the ideal would require costly investments as well as political and regulatory support.
The report defines a realistic achievable figure that includes a forecast of likely customer behavior, taking into account existing market, societal, and attitudinal barriers as well as regulatory and program funding barriers. EPRI says the barriers could reflect customersâ€™ resistance to doing more than the minimum required or a rejection of the attributes of the efficient technology.
For its baseline assumptions, the EPRI study relied on EIA projections of growth in electricity consumption and peak demand for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors from its 2008 Annual Energy Outlook. For more information, visit www.epri.com.
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