Nation’s First Energy Efficiency Utility Serves as a Model for Achieving Significant Energy Savings

Challenge:

Before the turn of the century, twenty-two utilities served Vermont, each working individually to meet state mandates for least cost planning (LCP). LCP challenged utilities to develop cost-effective methods for supplying electricity to consumers—and each company approached the challenge in their own way. The resulting disparity between programs caused confusion for consumers, who had to determine which programs, among many, best met their needs. From this confusion, a vision was developed for a single entity—an “energy efficiency utility” (EEU) —that would offer a unified set of programs across the state of Vermont.

Solution:

In response to a proposal filed by the Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) in 1997, interested people from the DPS, environmental groups (including VEIC), and utilities developed a vision for a centrally administered EEU. All parties approved the resulting memorandum of understanding, and in March of 2000 the Public Service Board hired VEIC to administer the first EEU, Efficiency Vermont.  

Within the first twelve months, VEIC delivered reliable efficiency, making Efficiency Vermont a respected model of a centrally administered EEU. After the first six years, VEIC won the next bid to administer Efficiency Vermont and continued to advance as the goals and spending of the EEU were raised. Six years later, the PSB recognized Efficiency Vermont as an institution and authorized the EEU as a 12-year government franchise, which continues under the operation of VEIC.

Results:

  • Vermont achieves deeper energy savings than most states in the country due to the programs set forth by Efficiency Vermont.
  • Vermont is rated among the top 5 states in the United States in respect to energy efficiency programs.
  • Vermont saves 2.5% of electric use annually as a result of Efficiency Vermont.
  • Efficiency Vermont has inspired other states and districts in the United States (Ohio and District of Columbia) and other countries (Canada and China) through its energy efficiency models.

Visit Efficiency Vermont's website for more program details.