As a result of their energy efficiency programs, the top 15%-performing investor-owned utilities save at least 5.5% of their total electricity sales and spend no more than $3 per MWh to achieve these results, according to a new Chartwell report, "Utility Energy Efficiency Programs and Benchmarking Data."

Utilities in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council save an average of 1.42% of electricity sales. But WECC utilities in the 90th percentile save 7.47% of total electricity sales. While utilities in the region spend an average of US$118 to save one MWh, the top performing utilities spend only $3 per MWh saved.

Included in Utility Energy Efficiency Programs and Benchmarking Data are more than a dozen charts and graphs providing details -- by utility type and NERC location -- on the MWh savings that the top 10%, top 15%, and top 25% of performers achieve. (To develop this data, Chartwell analyzed information that more than 950 utilities submitted to the Department of Energy.) The data include:

  • incremental effects (new programs or new participants in 2001, the year for which the data was reported).
  • annual effects (programs launched/participants acquired prior to 2001).
  • total effects.
  • electricity savings as a percentage of electricity sales.
  • dollars spent per MWh saved.
Chartwell's best practices research features case studies and spotlights important initiatives within the industry. Among the seven case studies in the report are:
  • Seattle City Light's wide-ranging and award-winning energy efficiency program that is marketed neighborhood-by-neighborhood.
  • Southern California Edison's efforts to reach small business owners with energy efficiency programs.
  • Florida Power & Light's innovative energy efficiency advertising campaign.
  • Plumas-Sierra Electric Cooperative's geothermal heat pump program.
  • Anaheim Public Utilities' community outreach-based energy efficiency efforts.