The Arkansas Public Service Commission today ordered higher energy efficiency goals for electric utilities. The Sierra Club and Audubon Arkansas lauded the PSC decision.
The Sierra Club said in a release:
Today, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) issued an order setting higher energy efficiency goals for Arkansas electric utilities across the state. This order sets an energy savings target of 1.2% of utility baseline sales per year from 2020-2022, approving a proposal by Sierra Club, Audubon Arkansas, and the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association. These targets are a significant increase from previous energy efficiency targets, which previously topped out at 1% in 2019, and firmly establish Arkansas as a leader of energy efficiency savings in the South.
The increased energy efficiency targets will result in approximately 445 million kilowatt hours of additional energy savings per year in Arkansas.
“The Commission’s order today is a win for Arkansas’s electric customers” said Casey Roberts, Senior Attorney for the Sierra Club. “The Commission established increased, but completely achievable, energy savings targets for the utilities that will require them to expand access to their energy efficiency programs. These expanded programs will save customers money while making their homes more comfortable and reducing air and water pollution.”
Since 2013, ASPC has set a statewide energy savings target for all Arkansas investor-owned utilities in 3-year increments. In May of this year, the Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC), APSC established a group of stakeholders, failed to reach a consensus proposal on the recommended target levels. The group submitted opposing proposals from two groups of stakeholders, roughly broken down into the energy efficiency advocates who believed higher levels of cost-effective energy efficiency savings were achievable, and a group largely comprised by utilities who advocated for maintaining lower savings levels. Today, the APSC adopted the advocates” recommendations for higher targets.
“Today’s decision will encourage Arkansas’s electric utilities to continue to improve and expand their efficiency programs, which is great news for Arkansans,” said Gary Moody, Public Affairs Director for Audubon Arkansas. “Smarter, more efficient energy use not only saves utilities and their customers’ money—it creates good local jobs and protects our natural environment. The cleanest power source is the energy you never have to generate in the first place. This order will help propel Arkansas to a cleaner, more efficient future.”