BOULDER, CO--(Marketwired - Mar 10, 2014) - E Source is pleased to announce the release of the free, publicly available White Paper Apples and Oranges: Aggregating Data from Electricity-Conservation Programs, a portrait of the state of the demand-side management (DSM) industry. This report summarizes DSM industry spending and energy savings across 125 DSM portfolios and their programs. Researchers evaluated trends in DSM spending and energy savings from 2010 to 2015.
Among the numerous findings presented in the report is the surprising observation that programs in the Midwest US are significantly more cost-effective on average than programs in the rest of the country. Bryan Jungers, a software product manager for E Source and coauthor of the White Paper says, "I was expecting regions in which administrators have the most experience running successful DSM programs -- such as the West -- to have the most cost-effective programs."
Though some variability in regional differences was observed, midwestern programs were more cost-effective regardless of market sector or fuel type. In 2012, the most recent year for which actual performance data have been made available, administrators in the Midwest spent less money per unit of energy saved for residential and nonresidential electric and gas programs.
The White Paper authors also evaluated the perception that DSM budgets are shrinking, and they found that growth in spending has slowed considerably faster than growth in energy-savings goals. As a result, many program administrators are being asked to "do more with less" by deriving more savings from relatively fewer budgeted dollars. As a result, the authors also observed that many more DSM programs are overspending (31 percent) relative to 2010 (13 percent).
Among the various program categories considered in the report, behavior-change programs appear to be a big winner with respect to first-year cost-effectiveness. From 2010 to 2013, the number of administrators running residential behavior-change programs nearly quadrupled, from 11 percent to 40 percent of those portfolios that were reviewed.
Though low-income programs are getting more cost-effective, they remain among the most expensive programs to run per unit of energy saved. Low-income programs are expected to make up a similar proportion of overall portfolio composition for the near future, but other high-cost programs are expected to receive a decreasing percentage of future budgets.
To learn more about E Source's DSM research, read the White Paper and attend the free, public web conference DSM Program Performance and Trends on March 11, where E Source will share findings from the paper.
About E Source
For 26 years, E Source has been providing unbiased, objective research and advisory services to over 300 utilities and large energy users. Our energy experts have answered more than 8,000 questions over the past 3 years. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.