Louisiana aiming for statewide energy efficiency

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Louisiana utilities could soon encounter statewide energy-efficiency standards designed to reduce energy consumption and save money. 

The Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the plan on Thursday. All PSC utilities have 10 months to submit compliance plans and estimates for customer savings and benefits, with the program beginning four months later.  Utilities must also file annual reports with updated energy savings and load reductions to the PSC.  The first phase, "Quick Start," will last just under four years, and further changes will be developed after the first stage expires.

Though passing by a 4 to 1 vote, the proposal was not without controversy. Opponents claim it excludes heavy industrial users using more than 5MW of electricity. These customers account for nearly half of the state's electricity consumption, according to a report in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The PSC estimates program implementation costs to be between $25 million and $30 million for utilities and about $0.40 per month for the average customer.

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