US utility approves $3m budget for energy efficiency program


This week the US electric utility, Lincoln Electric Systems (LES) announced that it has set aside $3 million in incentive money to help customers implement more energy efficient behaviours.

According to Journal Star, the saving will be utilized under the firm’s Sustainable Energy Program encouraging consumers to upgrade to efficient appliances.

Since its launch in 2009, LES customers have accessed $18.3 million in incentives, spent $87 million on energy-efficient equipment and services, and saved an estimated $7 million on electric energy bills.

Meanwhile, Pacific Power has this Wednesday announced that it is rolling out new incentives for customers, to save money and energy this year.

Commenting on the launch of the program, Toby Freeman, Business manager at Pacific Power said,  “For us, we’re all about helping our customers save energy, save money because frankly, you saving more energy is a lot cheaper than us building a new power plant.”

Under the program for example, a customer who would have upgraded to save energy by installing a smart thermostat can go online, fill a revamp and receive $50 cash back.

US Utilities’ customer incentives

The two developments comes after customers of Philadelphia-based electric utility PECO have saved more than 2 million megawatt hours since 2009 by implementing the energy efficiency program PECO Smart Ideas.

According to a press statement released by PECO during the Q4 of 2015, the savings in electricity consumption are equivalent to more than $463 million achieved through energy efficiency rebates, incentives and energy savings on consumers’ monthly bills.

Energy efficiency targets

PECO Smart Ideas was part of the utility’s measures to help customers reduce electricity consumption by 2.9% by 31 May 2016, in line with the Pennsylvania Energy Act.

The act stipulates that all utilities in the region must establish and implement energy efficiency programs to meet the mandated targets.

The Smart Ideas program offered 438,000 rebates for energy efficiency actions including purchasing of 12 million LED and CFL bulbs, recycling of 55,000 refrigerators, home audits and assessments, and 7,400 rebates for equipment enhancements and energy efficient construction measures.

The utility’s president Craig Adams said that PECO plans to identify more initiatives to reach an additional 5% decrease in electricity consumption by 2021.