Energy Efficiency Prospects to Watch in the Eastern States

Duke Energy Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Duke Energy Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Energy efficiency prospects continue to expand along the eastern seaboard as utilities ramp up energy efficiency programs and policymakers increasingly view smart energy  as key to hardening the grid against storms.

Here are few emerging business opportunities to watch.

In North Carolina, Duke Energy plans to undertake energy efficiency “as broadly and cost-effectively as possible” under a new settlement agreement, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. EDF was one of several groups that signed the agreement with the utility and staff of the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission.

Duke Energy intends to replace its current energy efficiency program, the avoided-cost Save-a-Watt model, with a less complex shared savings program. That means Duke will share monetary savings achieved through the program with customers.

The deal also opens up new possibilities for combined heat and power. As part of the settlement, Duke Energy agreed to begin talks by the end of 2013 about programs for CHP and commercial/industrial on-bill repayment.

As a next step, the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission must review the settlement. A vote is expected by the end of November, according to EDF.

Further details are available on the North Carolina PUC website. Look up docket number E-7   Sub 1032.

NJ transitgridMeanwhile, New Jersey continues to press ahead to develop microgrids  to protect its power system against future storms like last year’s Sandy.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie outlined plans in late August to develop a  microgrid  for key areas of the state’s mass transit system.

Called NJ TransitGrid, the program will be the first non-military microgrid to be designed by the federal Sandia National Laboratories, which will collaborate on the project with the US Department of Energy, and the state Board of Public Utilities and NJ Transit.

The project will provide power for the transit system between Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken, as well as to critical stations and maintenance facilities.

NJ TransitGrid will employ advanced smart grid and distributed energy resources, according to the DOE.

Neighboring New York also is aggressively pursuing energy efficiency, especially in public buildings. The state is trying to trim annual energy bills by $500 million. The New York Power Authority plans to issue solicitations to assemble a group of contractors, and equipment and service providers for the projects. For more details, see the EnergyEfficiencyMarkets.com article: “New York Wants to Cut its $500 Million Energy Bill. Can You Help?”

And last, if you have not already done so, take a look at EnergyEfficiencyMarkets.com recent feature on Connecticut’s plans to dramatically expand energy efficiency: “Connecticut: Next Top Dog for Energy Efficiency?” The state intends to increase spending from $122 million to $231 million annually for three years.

As business opportunities emerge from these and other initiatives, we will list them on the EnergyEfficiencyMarkets.com RFP page. Check it often for updates!

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

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