US, Canada lead industrial energy efficiency

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New research shows that the U.S. and Canada are the global leaders of industrial energy-efficiency services to customers, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The ACEEE's research in industrial energy efficiency is driven by the growing number and size of programs serving the sector, the programs' cost effectiveness, and the potential for the programs to be replicated.

Eight industrial energy-efficiency programs across the U.S. and Canada were examined, including BC Hydro, Northwest Programs, Energy Trust of Oregon, Wisconsin Focus on Energy, Detroit Edison, Enbridge, NYSERDA, and Efficiency Vermont. The programs provide a broad view of the different types of institutional models used across North America.

They all have one thing in common -- success -- but each has a different model for acquiring energy savings. All of the programs manage a series of initiatives that influence industrial customers to implement best practices and invest in efficient technologies and many were the first of their kind that have been replicated by other states and regions in the U.S. and Canada.

Despite the trend to move program administration from utilities to third-parties, utilities still make up the bulk of energy-efficiency program administrators across

North America, utilities play an important role, often by collecting the fees from the customers that fund energy efficiency efforts.

"In the U.S. and Canada, the delivery of energy efficiency as a resource to meet existing and future demand is now being relied upon with the same certainty as electricity or gas from new generation," said Robert Taylor, lead author of the report and Principal at Energy Pathways LLC. "These initiatives, called energy-efficiency acquisition programs, have become a fixture of North American electricity and natural gas markets. They have been single-handedly responsible for postponing or eliminating the need for many expensive investments in new generation and transmission systems, and have become the model for other international programs to follow."

For more:
- see the report

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