Friday, February 28, 2020

California utility changes efficiency metric to "avoided carbon"

From the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD):
The new metric expected to encourage building electrification
The SMUD board voted to change the metric by which it measures the progress of its energy efficiency investments, switching from energy savings to avoided carbon emissions, making it the first entity in the United States to do so. The change will enable SMUD’s energy efficiency programs to focus investments on those that reduce carbon emissions at the lowest possible cost to customers and clear the way for expanded investments in building electrification alongside traditional efficiency approaches. 
“With carbon as our new measuring stick, helping our customers go all-electric will be as important as helping them use less energy,” said Rachel Huang, director of Energy Strategy, Research and Development. “Additionally, because this change encourages electrification, our customers will benefit from improved indoor air quality and reduced monthly energy bills.”
Under SMUD’s recently-adopted Integrated Resource Plan, building and transportation electrification are key strategies to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Switching to avoided carbon as a metric for energy efficiency investments aligns SMUD’s energy efficiency program with its net zero-carbon emissions goal...
 Good to see a utility focus on selling their product with the intent of it being a net good.

For my opinion on traditional conservation, or efficiency, programs, see "f in efficiency: Free-riders of the soft path"