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Sustainability News

Renewables are getting cheaper but energy efficiency, on average, still costs utilities less

“New data by Lazard, a financial advisory firm, shows that prices for renewable electricity declined again this year, continuing their downward trend. But the data, released last month, miss another critical clean energy resource. Energy efficiency–the kilowatt-hours we avoid by eliminating waste–remains, on average, our nation’s least-cost resource.

“Efficiency also delivers a host of other benefits. It improves electric grid reliability and resilience, can target savings where and when needed the most, creates jobs, spurs other economic development, reduces customer utility bills, makes homes and buildings more comfortable, and reduces harmful pollution. . . .

“The average cost of efficiency to utilities is still generally less than that of wind or utility-scale solar. And overall, energy efficiency and clean energy continue to come in at a lower cost per kilowatt hour than more traditional resources.

“Investments in energy efficiency can have a big impact. Those made between 1990 and today have helped us avoid building the equivalent of 313 large power plants and have delivered cumulative savings of nearly $790 billion to customers nationwide. The need and opportunity for efficiency as a utility resource will continue in the coming years as states and utilities will need to meet evolving goals.”

FULL STORY published December 18, 2018 via ACEEE