Audubon Arkansas scored a significant win by expanding the scope of energy efficiency opportunities available to Arkansas residents and businesses, increasing economic and environmental impacts in the Natural State. The Arkansas policy team took the lead role in developing of a set of specific recommendations to the Arkansas Public Service Commission regarding the inclusion of non-energy benefits (“NEBs”) in the benefit-cost analysis of energy efficiency programs and measures. Inclusion of these benefits is necessary to determine the full value of energy efficiency. Despite opposition from Utilities and the Attorney General, the Public Service Commission ordered the utilities to implement Audubon’s recommendations. Under the new rule all fuel savings, water and wastewater savings, and the avoided cost of equipment replacement over the useful life of the efficient equipment must now be accounted for when determining the cost effectiveness of energy efficiency measures.
Increased 2019 Savings Target
Audubon also successfully advocated for an increased level of electric and gas energy efficiency savings targets through the period 2017-2019. The Commission ordered program levels to remain at the current level for 2017 and 2018, but accepted Audubon Arkansas’s recommended 2019 savings target. In this ruling the Public Service Commission clearly communicated the expectation of continued upward trend in program savings, accepting the reasoning of Audubon Arkansas that there are achievable potential savings that “should not be left on the table”. The increased savings target will result in an additional $11 Million in annual funding for Arkansas Energy Efficiency projects beginning in 2019.