The Arkansas Public Service Commission recently approved a proposal spearheaded by Audubon Arkansas and our conservation allies to increase energy efficiency goals for Arkansas’s electric utilities. Order 43 in docket 13-002-U, increases Arkansas’s statewide energy savings target from 1.0% of sales to 1.2% of utility baseline sales beginning in 2020, further establishing Arkansas as a leader of energy efficiency savings in the South.
While 0.2% may not seem like a huge number, statewide this action will have a tremendous impact. The increase will result in 445 million kilowatt hours of additional energy savings per year, which will avoid an estimated 331,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year! These savings are the rough equivalent of removing 71,000 cars from the road for a year or planting 8.5 million tree seedlings for 10 years.
Since 2013, the Arkansas Public Service Commission sets statewide energy savings target for all Arkansas investor-owned utilities in 3-year increments. In May, energy stakeholders (including Audubon) failed to reach a consensus proposal on recommended target levels for the next 3 year cycle. Two groups of stakeholders submitted opposing proposals to the Commissioners. After nearly two months of deliberation the Arkansas Public Service Commission adopted the recommendation of Audubon and our allies to increase efficiency targets.
“This decision is a huge win for Arkansas. It will encourage our electric utilities to continue to improve and expand their efficiency programs which will allow more Arkansans to participate in energy savings,” said Gary Moody, Public Affairs Manager for Audubon Arkansas. “Smarter, more efficient energy use saves utilities and their customers' money, creates good local jobs, and protects our natural environment. The cleanest power source is always the power we never have to generate in the first place.”
The full APSC order can be found here.