Energy Efficiency Standards: Public Policies That Drive Private Markets
Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) take a variety of forms, but they all share one key benefit: They help stimulate investments in energy efficiency - a cost-effective way to reduce energy demand and cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
EERS require utilities to meet a specific percentage of their energy demand each year from customers’ energy savings. National, provincial and state government design programs to meet specific local energy challenges. One common component of EERS is the use of energy savings certificates (ESCs) – a tradable commodity that represents a specific and documented amount of savings in electricity or gas.
EERS exist around the globe, and governments continue to design new programs. The most successful ones share three key attributes:
• Mechanisms for acquiring and trading ESCs.
• Alignment with the government’s key objectives and with established sources of funding.
• Workable compliance terms and penalty structures.Leading programs in Connecticut, Vermont, New South Wales (Australia), Italy, and the United Kingdom demonstrate best practices and innovation in EERS and ESCs. These programs lay the groundwork for future ideas and growth in EERS around the globe.