Georgia EMCs’ $17 million investment pays off in demand reduction and energy savings


Paul Wood,
President & CEO,
Georgia EMC
Tucker, GA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 22, 2009 – In 2008 Georgia’s electric membership corporations (EMCs) spent $17.2 million on programs that reduced demand by 173 MW, an 11 percent increase in demand reduction from 2007, and created energy savings of 34,580,000 kWh, an increase in savings of 21 percent from 2007.

The spending includes the development, implementation, and communication of programs that help members save energy and reduce costs, such as energy audits, electric appliance incentives and financing plans, load control options, rate options, weatherization programs, and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb distribution.

“The amount of energy the EMCs and their members saved in 2008 would serve over 2,200 homes for an entire year,” said Paul Wood, president and CEO of Georgia EMC.

The study, 2009 EMC Demand Side Management, Energy Conservation, and Energy Efficiency Report, produced annually by Georgia EMC, documents EMC energy efficiency, energy conservation, and demand side management (DSM) activities and quantifies the potential affects those activities have on reducing demand in the state.

According to the study Georgia EMCs have been active in installing automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems. At year-end 2008, 27 EMCs had some level of AMR/AMI infrastructure installed, benefiting over 670,000 EMC customers.

Georgia EMCs also have had active load management programs for many years and currently have 160,725 load management switches installed on their customers’ air conditioners, water heaters, and irrigation systems. This represents an 11 percent increase in the total number of load management switches that were in place in 2007. These systems can reduce summer peak load by approximately 154 MW.

The study also found that by year-end 2008, 100 percent of the state’s electric cooperatives provided green energy in their overall resource mix to members. This commitment to renewable capacity represents more than 24 MW of green energy available to members by mid-2009.

“Georgia’s EMCs have been active with demand side management, energy conservation, and energy efficiency for many years and are committed to investing in new and ongoing programs,” said Wood. “Their leadership and level of participation in exploring green energy options is confirmation that renewable resources have an important role in meeting the future energy needs of this state.”

Each of Georgia’s EMCs tailors the programs they offer to meet the needs of their customers. For example, the report shows that most EMCs provide in-home energy audits while only a few have a manufactured home program. Because almost 90 percent of EMC customers are residential, the majority of energy conservation and efficiency programs are focused on those customers. Approximately 8.6 percent of EMC customers are considered commercial/industrial.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 42 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia’s customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to four million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.