State and Local Policy Database

Energy Efficiency as a Resource

States can use a number of policy and regulatory tools to treat energy efficiency as a resource equally important to supply resources. Putting energy efficiency on level footing with supply resources enables its advancement throughout the utility sector.

In Docket 31045, the APSC recognized that energy efficiency is considered a priority resource. Every three years, or as otherwise required by the APSC, Alabama Power Company submits an integrated resource plan (IRP) to the APSC. The last IRP submittal was in September 2013. The plan includes the company’s forecast requirements, taking into account present and projected energy demands and reductions in any and all sectors resulting from improved energy efficiency measures. For purposes of the IRP, the energy efficiency resource is embedded in the results of the load forecasting process, which captures the actual customer response to those programs. 

Last Updated: June 2017

There is currently no policy in place that treats energy efficiency as a resource. Alaska does not have an integrated resource planning (IRP) process.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last reviewed: April 2022

Arizona utilities have developed diverse resource portfolios that include energy efficiency as a resource. To address anticipated demand increases, Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power plan to continue to expand already successful energy efficiency programs. In April 2015, the ACC required that regulated electric utilities specifically include, or explain why they exclude, energy storage and expanded energy efficiency and demand response in their integrated resource plans. (See Docket No. E-00000V-13-0070 and Decision No. 75068.)

Salt River Project's investment in energy efficiency is guided by its Sustainable Portfolio Principles, which direct the utility's current and future use of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last Updated: September 2016

The Commission approved "Resource Planning Guidelines for Electric Utilities" in Docket 06-028-R (final order issued in January 2007). These guidelines include specific requirements for demand-side resources. Utilities are required to consider "all reasonably useful and economic supply and demand resources that are available to a utility or its customers" for "incremental capacity needs." Further, "utility efforts to encourage energy efficiency, conservation, demand-side management, interruptible load and price responsive demand should be identified."

Although there is no loading order prioritizing energy efficiency, the Commission approved Rules for Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs in May 2007 (Docket 06-004-R), and subsequently established an EERS in 2010, requiring utilities to file energy efficiency plans to implement cost-effective energy efficiency programs. 

Last Updated: July 2018

California has established energy efficiency as its highest priority energy resource for procurement of new resources. Under Assembly Bill 1890 (1996) and Assembly Bill 995 (2000), California has established a “loading order” that calls for first pursuing all cost-effective efficiency resources, then using cost-effective renewable resources. Only then may conventional energy sources be used to meet new load.  As authorized under California Public Utility Code § 454.55-56, the CPUC has established aggressive targets and associated funding for energy efficiency programs.

In Decision 12-11-015 the CPUC directed IOUs, regional energy networks, and community choice aggregators to apply a market spillover effects adder of 5% to their program tracking claims, acknowledging the impacts of energy efficiency programs on the market overall.

In August 2019, in a move that helps align efficiency programs with the state's climate goals, the CPUC issued a decision modifying the state's energy efficiency three-prong test related to fuel subsitution (LINK). The policy update makes possible the wider use of energy efficiency funds for electrification efforts by making several adjustments to fuel substitution requirements, including clarification that the baseline against which fuel substitution measures are compared is consistent with other measures in the EE portfolio; specifying that the environmental impact will be measured in terms of CO2 emissions; updating the method for determining energy savings from the fuel source used in a way that accounts for the growing portion of renewable energy; and clarifying that fuel subsitution measures should no longer be required to pass a cost-effectiveness threshold at the measure level.

California has effectively doubled its energy efficiency goals as a result of SB 350, passed in October 2015. This bill requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to establish annual targets for statewide energy efficiency savings and demand reduction that will achieve a cumulative doubling of statewide energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas final end uses of retail customers by January 1, 2030. In August 2019, the CPUC adopted updated 10-year efficiency goals for the state's major electric and gas IOUs. Over the first five years (2020-2025) targets translate to roughly 1.6% gross electric savings and 0.6% gross gas savings, including codes & standards supportive efforts (link).

Last reviewed: August 2020

Energy efficiency is not included within the commission’s definition of a supply-side resource in the Rules Regulating Electric Utilities. However, in one of Public Service Company’s Electric Resource Plan filings, it appears that the commission required the company to modify its plan to include modeling for approved DSM programs (Docket No. 07A-447E, Decision No. C08-0929). House Bill 1164 requires the PUC to include the possible impacts of future greenhouse gas regulation on electricity prices when evaluating utility resource plans.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Prior to passage of Public Act 07-242, An Act Concerning Electricity and Energy Efficiency, utilities were not required to submit integrated resource plans in Connecticut’s restructured utility markets. After passage of Public Act 07-242, electric distribution companies were required to review the state’s energy and capacity resource assessment, and to develop a comprehensive plan for the procurement of energy resources. The Act requires resource selection and procurement to be performed so as to minimize the costs and to maximize consumer benefits consistent with the state’s environmental goals. The distribution companies must consider a full array of supply and demand resources and submit annual assessments of energy and capacity requirements for the next three, five, and 10 years. Additionally, the utilities must submit plans to “eliminate growth in electric demand” and to achieve other demand-side and environmental objectives.

Public Act 11-80 requires that Connecticut’s energy needs “shall be met first through all available energy efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost-effective, reliable, and feasible. Connecticut’s utilities prepare three-year plans for energy efficiency programs that establish annual budgets, energy-saving goals, and performance metrics. The utilities provide annual updates to these three-year plans to align energy efficiency programs that reflect market trends, new federal regulations and policies, emerging technologies, and evaluation results of its current programs.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection(DEEP) has initiated a process to refresh the integrated resource plan for 2020.  A vendor has been selected and DEEP is anticipating to have final results by June 2020.

Last reviewed: June 2020

In 2009, Senate Bill 106 stated that energy efficiency would be the “highest-priority resource” in the state. Cost-effectiveness was one motivation for this decision. The Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006 requires electricity providers to file 10-year integrated resource plans that will address long-term supply contracts, including provisions for renewable energy and demand-side resources (26 Del. C. §1001-1012). Additional integrated resource planning rules are under consideration. In PSC Regulation Docket Number 60, the PSC entered Order Number 7318 (2007), proposing integrated resource planning regulation. This regulation was finalized in 2008.

Last reviewed: September 2020

Energy efficiency is considered the primary resource in Department of Energy & Environment's draft Comprehensive Energy Plan.  In addition, DC SEU has been bidding aggregated energy efficiency measures into PJM's capacity market with DOEE's full support.
For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.
Last reviewed: July 2019

In December 2006, the FPSC endorsed the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, which recommends making energy efficiency a high-priority resource. 

Florida does not have an integrated resource planning (IRP) statute or rule, but it does have a filing requirement for long-term energy plans.

FEECA utilities are required to provide the Commission with a demand-side management status update on an annual basis. The Commission uses this information within its annual FEECA report to the governor and legislature.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last reviewed: June 2020

Every three years, regulated Georgia utilities must file integrated resource plans (IRPs) with the commission. The plans must detail the utilities' forecast requirements, taking into account present and projected energy demands and any demand reductions that are the result of improved energy efficiency measures in any and all sectors. In Georgia Power's 2010 IRP (Docket 31081), the commission adopted a policy recognizing energy efficiency as a priority resource. Georgia Power’s most recent IRP was approved in July 2016 (Docket Nos. 40161 and 40162).

Last Updated: July 2018

In 2008, Hawaii began incorporating scenario planning as part of its revised Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) framework. The revisions were a result of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), a Memorandum of Understanding between the Governor of the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy. Signed in January 2008, the MOU has the goal of decreasing energy demand and accelerating use of renewable, indigenous energy resources in Hawaii in residential, building, industrial, utility, and transportation end-use sectors so that efficiency and renewable energy sources will meet 70% of Hawaii’s energy demand by 2030. Of the 70% target, 30% is to come from energy efficiency measures, and 40% is to be obtained from renewable sources.  Specifically, the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard is 4,300 GWh reduction of electricity by 2030, with interim goals to be achieved in 2015, 2020, and 2025.  

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) suspended the IRP dockets for Hawaii’s utilities but reopened the IRP for Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) in 2012 (Docket No. 2012-0036 Order No. 30233). Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) filed its most recent IRP with the public utility commission in June 2013, covering the planning period 2014-2033.

Utilities incorporate the energy efficiency targets of the state’s Public Benefits Fund within their IRPs.

Last Updated: August 2018

Idaho's investor-owned utilities are required to prepare and file Integrated Resource Plans that include all cost effective and achievable energy efficiency as a resource.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Illinois legislation (SB 1592) establishes a state policy that requires electric utilities to use cost-effective energy efficiency and demand-response measures to reduce direct and indirect costs to consumers. This can be accomplished by avoiding or delaying the need for new generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure, as well as off-setting more expensive power purchases. Illinois is a "restructured" state—with distribution utilities purchasing power in competitive wholesale markets. Reduced customer demand thus affects purchase decisions and resource planning. Although there are no rules in place for integrated resource planning, the state does have a filing requirement for long-term utility plans. 

Section 8-103 of the Illinois PUA establishes: It is the policy of the State that electric utilities are required to use cost-effective energy efficiency and demand-response measures to reduce delivery load. Requiring investment in cost-effective energy efficiency and demand-response measures will reduce direct and indirect costs to consumers by decreasing environmental impacts and by avoiding or delaying the need for new generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. It serves the public interest to allow electric utilities to recover costs for reasonably and prudently incurred expenses for energy efficiency and demand-response measures.

Section 8-104 of the Illinois PUA establishes: It is the policy of the State that natural gas utilities are required to use cost-effective energy efficiency to reduce direct and indirect costs to consumers. It serves the public interest to allow natural gas utilities to recover costs for reasonably and prudently incurred expenses for cost-effective energy efficiency measures.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Under current rules, electric utilities are required to submit resource plans every two years that cover a 20-year-planning horizon. Under requirements of the Indiana Administrative Code (170 IAC 4-7-1 through 4-7-9), the affected utilities are required “to consider alternative methods of meeting future demand for electric service.” The code adds that a utility “must consider a demand-side resource, including innovative rate design, as a source of new supply in meeting future electric service requirements.”

The rules are changing, however. The IURC reactivated a dormant rulemaking from 2011 to update the integrated resource planning and energy efficiency planning rules to align them with the legislative requirements that were updated in 2015’s SEA 412. SEA 412 requires utilities to submit an integrated resource plan to the IURC, requires IOUs to submit an energy efficiency plan to the IURC for approval at least one time every three years, and requires that EM&V procedures be included in an electricity supplier's energy efficiency plan. This EM&V administrator must be an independent or third party entity. Additionally, SEA 412 provides that the IURC may not require a third-party administrator to implement an electricity supplier's energy efficiency program or plan.

The updated rules (RM #15-06) are undergoing public hearings and are expected to be approved by the end of 2018. The 2018 resource plans are already operating under the general structure of the draft rule, which has been available in several draft forms since 2015. Among the changes that are underway for integrated resource planning in the updated rules are a requirement for plans every three years on a staggered schedule, requirements for stakeholder collaboration, and submission data requirements.

Last Updated: October 2018

Iowa's investor-owned utilities are required to prepare and implement energy efficiency plans. The Iowa Utilities Board approves the plans. Plans must be cost-effective. The Iowa Utilities Board uses five cost-effectiveness tests. Of these, the societal cost test is the primary determinant of cost-effectiveness. Plans must include programs for all types of customers, analysis of the potential for energy efficiency and performance standards in terms of energy and capacity savings.

Last reviewed: July 2019

There is currently no policy in place that treats energy efficiency as a resource.

Last Updated: July 2015

Regulated utilities are required every three years to prepare and file integrated resource plans (IRPs) that consider how to use demand-side resources to meet forecasted requirements reliably and at the lowest possible cost.

Last Updated: June 2016

In March 2012, the LPSC voted to adopt integrated resource planning (IRP) rules, which direct investor-owned electric utilities in the state to develop long-term plans for both supply- and demand-side resources (Docket No. R-30021). Other than indirectly through the IRP process, there is currently no policy in place that treats energy efficiency as a resource.

Last reviewed: September 2020

The Maine statute establishes the requirement that utilities procure "all cost-effective energy efficiency" by funding Efficiency Maine Trust programs at levels sufficient to meet that standard.  See 35-A MRS 10104(4).  Also, the newly established Non-Wires Alternative (NWA) law establishes an independent Coordinator to analyze all transmission and distribution proposals over $500,000 to determine if NWA resources, including energy efficiency, are the more cost-effective resource and, if so, to effectuate the procurement of that resource.  See 35-A MRS 3132-C.

Also, Maine has had a loading order that requires utilities to use energy efficiency before any other traditional resource (35-A MRS 3210-C (4)) when securing energy resources by means of long-term contracts. In March 2010, the Governor signed Public Law Chapter 518, An Act To Enhance Maine's Clean Energy Opportunities. It goes beyond previous policy to set the goal for Efficiency Maine as “capturing all cost-effective energy efficiency resources available for electric and natural gas utility ratepayers”.

Efficiency Maine plans energy efficiency programs in three-year increments. The fourth Triennial Plan covering fiscal years 2020-2022 was approved in 2019.

Last reviewed: May 2022

Since July 2008, utilities are required to consult with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) every three years regarding their plans to achieve the required energy savings and demand reduction goals. The plans for the 2015-2017 program cycle were submitted on September 2nd, 2014, and approved on December 23, 2014, by Order No. 86785. The 2015-2017 program cycle marks the first cycle in which a natural gas utility, Washington Gas and Light, is offering a standalone natural gas efficiency program. The 2018-2020 plans will be submitted by September 1, 2017.

The utilities must also submit semi-annual updates to the PSC and MEA.

Last Updated: July 2018

The Green Communities Act requires that electric and gas utilities make acquiring all cost-effective energy efficiency a higher priority than using other resources. The Act created an Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) that works with utility (and municipal aggregator) program administrators to establish statewide plans for gas and electric utilities for 3 years into the future. Utilities must “provide for the acquisition of all available energy efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost effective or less expensive than supply” in coordination with the EEAC. Utilities and program administrators prepare plans for the Department of Public Utilities based on annual 3-year budgets and goals recommended by the EEAC. Annual updates are preliminary. This process is open to the public.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Under Act 295, an objective of the energy waste reduction programs is to reduce long-term costs to utility ratepayers—in particular, by delaying the need for additional power plants. A companion bill that passed at the same time (HB5524) incorporates energy efficiency into the integrated resource planning process. The MPSC has the authority to approve or reject the plans. Any utility seeking a “certificate of necessity” for a new power plant, transmission project, or major power purchase must have demonstrated the need for the capacity addition through an approved integrated resource plan.

In December 2016, the Michigan legislature passed a comprehensive energy bill package (PA 341/PA 342) extending energy savings targets. PA 341 (Section 6t) also enacted a new integrated resource plan (IRP) assessment process. The IRP will serve as the utilities’ short-, medium-, and long-range supply-side and demand-side energy capacity planning process. IRPs have since been approved for Consumers and DTE, both targeting 2% annual electric savings by 2021.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Through Minnesota’s long-running Conservation Improvement Program, electric and natural gas utilities operating in Minnesota are required to invest a portion of their state revenues in projects designed to reduce their customers' consumption of electricity and natural gas and to improve efficiency.

Minnesota’s regulated utilities are required to file integrated resource plans with the Public Utilities Commission. The plans identify the potential resources the utilities intend to use to meet consumer needs in future years. The plans include significant energy efficiency and conservation savings.

On May 19, 2010, the Minnesota 2009 Energy Policy Act was signed into law as Chapter 110. This was the outcome of the Omnibus Energy Policy Bill from the 2009 legislative session. The PUC summarized the energy efficiency section of the statute: Modifies the criteria the PUC can consider in setting incentives for energy conservation. Adds language that makes implementation of cost-effective conservation “a preferred choice” while taking into account the impact of conservation on earnings.

In addition, Article 12, Sec. 2 and 3 of H.F. 729, passed in 2013, explicitly declared energy efficiency a resource and clarified that the state energy policy goal of saving 1.5% of retail energy sales annually is a floor, not a ceiling.

Last reviewed: September 2020

There is currently no policy in place that treats energy efficiency as a resource. Utilities are required by the MPSC to file demand-side management plans and implement energy efficiency programs.

Last Updated: July 2020

The Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act of 2009 (MEEIA) established a new standard in the state for electric utility investment in demand-side management. The Act directs the Missouri Public Service Commission to permit electric corporations to implement commission-approved demand-side programs proposed pursuant to this section with a goal of achieving all cost-effective demand-side savings. The Missouri PSC also completed a revision of its IRP rules in Case No. EX-2010-0254. MEEIA rules and IRP rules both requires demand-side and supply-side measures to be evaluated on an equivalent basis.

4 CSR 240-20.094(2) – Demand Side Programs:
    (A) For demand-side programs and program plans that have a total resource cost test ratio greater than one (1), the commission shall approve demand-side programs or program plans, and annual demand and energy savings targets for each demand-side program it approves, provided it finds that the utility has met the filing and submission requirements of 4 CSR 240-20.094(4)(B) and the demand-side programs and program plans— 
1. Are consistent with a goal of achieving all cost-effective demand-side savings;
2. Have reliable evaluation, measurement, and verification plans; and
3. Are included in the electric utility’s adopted preferred resource plan or have been analyzed through the integrated resource analysis required by 4 CSR 240-22.060 to determine the impact of the demand-side programs and program plans on the net present value of revenue requirements of the electric utility.
     (B) The commission shall approve demand-side programs having a total resource cost test ratio less than one (1) for demand-side programs targeted to low-income customers or general education campaigns, if the commission determines that the utility has met the filing and submission requirements of 4 CSR 240-20.094(4)(B), the program or program plan is in the public interest, and meets the requirements stated in paragraphs (3)(A)2. and 3.

For further reading, in August 2011, as part of the State Clean Energy Resource Project, ACEEE completed the report Missouri's Energy Efficiency Potential: Opportunities for Economic Growth and Energy Sustainability.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Under Montana Code Annotated Sec. 69-8-419(2) and 69-3-1204(2), regulated public electric utilities in Montana are required to consider "the full range of cost-effective means" to meet service requirements, including conservation and efficiency. Effective July 1, 2020, Mont. Code Ann. Sec. 69-8-419(2) is repealed, and all regulated utilities must file under 69-3-1204. Also effective July 1, 2020, Mont. Code Ann. Sec. 69-3-1209 requires regulated utilities to file a demand-side management and conservation report every three years.

Last Updated: June 2020

While there is no EERS in place, the three largest electric utilities have established savings goals for customer demand-side management programs. Additionally, all three of the largest electric utilities in the state have integrated resource plans as well as a number of smaller municipal electric systems. Those utilities in the state that receive annual allocations of federal hydropower-produced electricity (which met 6.9% of the state’s electric need in 2010) must periodically submit a multi-year integrated resource plan (IRP). These plans must detail ways that the utility will reduce electricity use through energy efficiency and demand side management activities.

Last Updated: July 2017

Nevada Administrative Code §704.934 directs each regulated utility to submit a plan for conservation and load management as part of its resource plan. The plan must include, among other things:

  • an assessment of potential savings attributable to technically feasible programs for conservation and load management
  • a list of proposed programs for reducing energy and demand
  • a determination of the reduction in the use of energy and the demand for energy that would result from the proposed programs
  • an assessment of the costs of the proposed programs and the reductions in the utility’s costs produced by the proposed programs, and
  • an assessment of the impact on the utility’s load shapes of proposed and existing programs for conservation and load management.

Last Updated: July 2018

Expected kWh/KW savings from NH energy efficiency programs are incorporated into the ISO-NE Regional System Plan (RSP). ISO-NE provides forward capacity market (FCM) revenues.

The NH Commission approved 2018-2020 EERS which requires significant increases in savings targets and associated load reduction; and, in return, ISO-NE (FCM) provides for a more than doubling in ISO-NE (FCM) funding, from $3 million annual level (in 2016 and 2017) to more than $6 million annual level in 2018, 2019 and 2020.  For calendar year 2019, the ISO-NE (FCM) funding is estimated to be $7.1 million

Last reviewed: July 2019

New Jersey's restructuring statute requires the Board of Public Utilities to perform “comprehensive resource assessments” (CRAs) for energy efficiency and renewable energy resources every four years. These assessments account for system needs and costs. The CRA typically commences with a potential study. The results of the latest benchmarking study of the NJCEP can be found on the NJ Clean Energy Program web site.

Last reviewed: June 2020

The Efficient Use of Energy Act (EUEA) provides the statutory requirements for incorporating energy efficiency as a resource. It directs "public utilities to develop all cost-effective and achievable energy efficiency and load management resources" (NMSA 1978, §62-17). The EUEA notes that integrated resource plans should consider energy efficiency as well as the traditional supply-side resources in formulating the plan (NMSA 1978, §62-17-10).

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) sets out the rules for implementing statute. The PRC's energy efficiency rule, NMAC 17.7.2, was updated in 2014 (Case No. 13-00310-UT).

The PRC mandates that electric utilities must file an IRP and a four-year action plan every three years. The Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) rule states that "the utility shall consider all feasible supply-side and demand-side resources" when identifying possible resource options (NMAC Energy efficiency requirements shall be considered when developing resource portfolios (NMAC

Last reviewed: July 2019

The New York State Energy Planning Board uses the energy savings information from the New York Energy Efficiency program evaluations in the development of periodic "State Energy Plans." These plans contain 20-year forecasts of energy demand and prices and assessments of available energy supplies including energy efficiency, renewable energy, electricity, natural gas, petroleum, and coal. The 2025 target of the current State Energy Plan 2025 is for 185 Tbtu savings (see New Efficiency, New York report), which will be approximately 3% of incremental electric sales. 

Last reviewed: June 2019

Each electric power supplier must file a REEPS compliance plan as part of its Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) filing on or before September 1 of each year. The commission reviews the utilities' REEPS compliance reports.

A utility’s IRP filing must include a comprehensive analysis of all resource options considered by the utility. The plan must also include an assessment of demand-side management and energy efficiency. IRPs must be approved by the commission.

Last reviewed: July 2019

There is currently no policy in place that treats energy efficiency as a resource.

The North Dakota PSC has a rule that requires integrated resource planning (IRP).

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last Updated: January 2019

Under the state's EEPS, Ohio’s investor-owned utilities were required to prepare and implement energy efficiency plans. However, following the passage of HB 6 (2019), effectively terminating the state’s EERS and eliminating the ability of utility to recover costs of efficiency programs, these programs will be phased out by the end of 2020. Per the requirements of HB 6, in a February 2020 order PUCO called on utilities to cease accepting applications for direct rebate programs for both residential and non-residential energy efficiency programs on September 30, 2020.

For further reading, in March 2009, as part of the State Clean Energy Resource Project, ACEEE completed the report Shaping Ohio's Energy Future: Energy Efficiency Works (E092).

Last Updated: May 2020

There is currently no policy in place that treats energy efficiency as a resource.

Last reviewed: July 2020

Oregon is part of the four-state region included in the scope of operations for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC), which has responsibility for resource planning for the region. NPCC has identified energy efficiency and conservation as the priority resource for meeting load growth in the region and expects that this resource can address about 85% of all load growth through 2030.

In Oregon, the Energy Trust of Oregon works on behalf of Oregon's investor-owned utilty ratepayers to specify the annual and long-term levels of cost-effective, energy efficiency that should be acquired as part of the integrated resource plan for each utility's Oregon territory. (The utilities are PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric, Northwest Natural, Avista, and Cascade Natural Gas.) SB 1547  (2016) directs electric utilities to plan for and pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency. Per statute, rules and a grant agreement with the state Energy Trust is also accountable for securing those cost-effective energy savings annually through its programs,  activities and a coordinated partnership with the market transformation organization the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). Additionally, energy efficiency resource acquisition is supplemented by the work of the Oregon Department of Energy and the comprehensive energy efficiency program it oversees for nearly all of the school districts in the state.

Last reviewed: June 2020

Under October 2008 legislation, the PUC must implement programs that encourage conservation and efficiency by every major rate class. Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) includes energy efficiency as an eligible resource.

Last reviewed: June 2020

Rhode Island has a legislative requirement enacted in 2007 for electric and gas utilities to acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency that costs less than new energy supply as the first priority resource, placing it first in a utility’s resource “loading order” and greatly increasing the role of energy efficiency in long-term planning. The Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 also establishes new requirements for strategic long-term planning and purchasing of least-cost supply and demand resources. Utilities in Rhode Island file plans that include specific energy savings goals. These plans are reviewed by the Public Utilities Commission.

Last reviewed: July 2019

South Carolina’s investor-owned utilities (4) are required to file integrated resource plans with the S.C. Public Service Commission (SCPSC). All of the utilities operate some type of demand-side management and energy efficiency programs for residential, small business, commercial, and industrial customers, although these programs are not required in South Carolina. Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Carolinas and Dominion Energy provide energy to both North Carolina and South Carolina and are subject to North Carolina’s combined renewable and energy efficiency portfolio standard. As a result, the standards required for North Carolina will probably have an effect on South Carolina customers.

On May 16, 2019, the SC General Assembly passed Act 62, the South Carolina Energy Freedom Act. The act is comprehensive but focuses on several key issues, including greater consumer choices for energy, expansion of renewable and solar energy, establishing consumer protection mechanisms, increased transparency and accountability, Public Service Commission empowerment concerning approving utility's integrated resource plans (IRPs), and encouraging competition, especially from “small power producers.” 

The state Energy Office launched the South Carolina Energy Efficiency Roadmap initiative in October 2019 to capitalize on energy efficiency opportunities in the state. Facilitated by the Duke University Nicholas Institute, the Roadmap will review remaining energy efficiency recommendations from the 2016 Energy Plan, reassess according to current priorities, identify new opportunities, and develop next steps. Guided by an advisory committee, six working groups have been formed and meet monthly: 1) Efficiency in Buildings, 2) Energy, Equity, and Justice, 3) Utility Programs, 4) Financing Mechanisms, 5) Public and Nonprofit Entities, and 6) Education and Workforce Development. The final Energy Efficiency Roadmap report is expected to be completed by October 2020. ["Energy Efficiency Roadmap,"] 

Last Updated: June 2020

Utilities in South Dakota are vertically integrated and generally adhere to traditional ratemaking principles. All utilities perform integrated resource planning (IRP), which considers energy efficiency as a potential resource to meet demands.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last Updated: July 2018

There is currently no state-level policy in place that treats energy efficiency in the electricity sector as a resource. However, TVA evaluates energy efficiency and demand response programs on a level playing field with generation assets through the Integrated Resource Plan process.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last Updated: July 2018

While Texas has no integrated resource planning rules, the state does have a filing requirement for long-term energy plans.

Last Updated: July 2017

The PSC’s integrated resource planning requirements were established in the 1990s (1992 for PacifiCorp and 1994 for Dominion). PacifiCorp files a biennial integrated resource plan which include demand-side resources and associated programs. From the IRP guidelines, “The [IRP] process should result in the selection of the optimal set of resources given the expected combination of costs, risk and uncertainty” (Standard and Guidelines, 1. Definition). Also, PacifiCorp’s IRPs must include “An evaluation of all present and future resources, including future market opportunities (both demand-side and supply-side) on a consistent and comparable basis” (Standards and Guidelines, 4.b.). Dominion files its IRP annually.

In 2009, the Utah Legislature passed House Joint Resolution 9 (HJR9) that, among other things, supports: 1) cost-effective energy efficiency and load management programs for Utah's electric utilities, 2) an electricity savings goal for RMP to reduce projected electrical sales by not less than 1 percent of its annual retail sales: and 3) a  natural gas savings goal for Dominion to reduce natural gas sales by not less than 0.5% of its annual retail sales.  HJR9 also encourages various government and corporate entities to recognize energy efficiency as a priority resource and to promote “all available cost-effective energy efficiency.”

In March 2016, the Utah State Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 115, the "Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan Act" (STEP). STEP authorizes Rocky Mountain Power to implement a combined line-item charge on customer bills to recover DSM-related costs and to capitalize and amortize these costs over a 10-year period. The bill creates a "Regulatory Liability Fund," which can be used to depreciate thermal generation plant for which the Utah PUC determines depreciation is in the public interest for compliance with an environmental regulation or another purpose and to offset capitalized DSM costs. STEP also relieves certain customers of the obligation to pay for DSM. 

In March 2019, the Utah State Legislature passed House Bill 107 and amendment to the STEP legislation creating a similar STEP program for Dominion Energy. The program authorizes a gas corporation to establish natural gas clean air programs that promote sustainability through increasing the use of natural gas or renewable natural gas that the commission determines are in the public interest. Specifically the following may be approved: (i) an economic development incentive rate; (ii) research and development of other efficiency technologies; (iii) an acquisition of nonresidential natural gas infrastructure behind the large-scale natural gas utility's meter; (iv) the development of communities that can reduce greenhouse gases and NOx emissions; (v) a natural gas renewable energy project; (vi) a commercial line extension program; or (vii) any other technology program.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Vermont statute (30 VSA Sec. 218c) directs all electric and natural gas utilities to prepare and implement least cost integrated plans—plans "for meeting the public's need for energy services, after safety concerns are addressed, at the lowest present value life cycle cost, including environmental and economic costs, through a strategy combining investments and expenditures on energy supply, transmission and distribution capacity, transmission and distribution efficiency, and comprehensive energy efficiency programs." In addition, Vermont has a well-established regulatory process to factor the Energy Efficiency Utility's energy savings into utility companies' load forecasts. Vermont law requires EEU budgets to be set at a level that would realize "all reasonably available, cost-effective energy efficiency."

Last reviewed: June 2020

Since 2008, Virginia code has required electric utilities to file integrated resource plans (IRPs). The IRPs will forecast electric utilities' expected loads (projected over a 15-year period) and the utilities' plans to meet these obligations by using supply-side and demand-side resources. Utilities began filing IRPs in 2009.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last Updated: July 2018

Washington, as part of the four-state region served by the Bonneville Power Authority and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, incorporates energy efficiency as a resource for planning and investment decisions. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has approved its Seventh Power Plan on February 10, 2016. The plan calls for the region to acquire 1,400 average megawatts of energy efficiency by 2021; 3,000 average megawatts by 2026; and 4.300 average megawatts by 2035. The Council states: "In more than 90 percent of future conditions, cost-effective efficiency met all electricity load growth through 2030 and in more than half of the futures all load growth for the next 20 years. It's not only the single largest contributor to meeting the region's future electricity needs; it's also the single largest source of new peaking capacity. If developed aggressively, in combination with past efficiency acquisition, the energy efficiency resource could approach the size of the region's hydroelectric system's firm energy output, adding to the Northwest's heritage of clean and affordable power."

The Power Plan is a regional energy blueprint developed by the NWPCC that guides the region's largest electricity supplier, the federal Bonneville Power Administration. Under federal law, the Council revises the 20-year plan every five years. While Bonneville implements the plan, the plan also serves as a reference document for the region's electric utilities in their own planning.

Each investor-owned utility models energy efficiency as a resource along with supply-side resources within its integrated resource plan, in accordance with WAC 480-100-238 and WAC 480-90-238. These rules require that the plan identify "the mix of energy supply resources and conservation that will meet current and future needs at the lowest reasonable cost to the utility and its ratepayers," where lowest reasonable cost means "the lowest cost mix of resources determined through a detailed and consistent analysis of a wide range of commercially available sources. At a minimum, this analysis must consider resource cost, market-volatility risks, demand-side resource uncertainties, resource dispatch ability, resource effect on system operation, the risks imposed on ratepayers, public policies regarding resource preference adopted by Washington state or the federal government and the cost of risks associated with environmental effects including emissions of carbon dioxide."

Last reviewed: July 2019

There is currently no comprehensive policy in place that treats energy efficiency as a resource. In 2011, the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Appalachian Power Company’s petition to submit energy efficiency and demand-response programs for credits toward the state’s Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard in Case No. 11-1034-E-P.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last reviewed: July 2019

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin carries out a "Strategic Energy Assessment" every two years. These assessments assess past and future electric energy needs and associated resources available to meet these needs. This process is for planning only; it yields no regulatory orders or decisions that require actions by affected utilities, such as establishing specific resource goals or required investment levels in energy efficiency.

The Commission concluded the third Quadrennial Planning process for programs operating between 2019-2022 and issued an order for policies and savings goals in May 2018.

Last reviewed: June 2022

There is currently no policy in place that treats energy efficiency as a resource. Wyoming does have an integrated resource planning (IRP) process, although the frequency with which utilities must update these plans is not specified in the state’s rules.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.

Last Updated: July 2016