Publicly Owned Utility Energy Efficiency Data and Performance Metrics

The charts below illustrate publicly owned utilities’ (POU) progress in electricity savings based on several industry performance metrics defined by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).


Electricity Savings as a Percentage of Electricity Sales

This metric compares annual electricity savings in megawatt hours (MWh) to total electricity sales reported in MWh in the utilities’ service territories. Electricity savings between 1 and 2.5 percent are considered to be exemplary by the industry.

In 2014, POUs saved roughly 0.53 percent on average of their total electricity sales. Seven POUs achieved and exceeded the 1 percent mark, shown in Figure 1. Pasadena’s percentage of electricity savings is the highest at 1.7 percent followed by Glendale and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). ACEEE currently uses 2 percent of electricity sales as its best practice standard.

Figure 1: POUs Reported Electricity Savings (MWh) as a Percentage of Electricity Sales (MWh) in 2014
Figure 1: POUs Reported Electricity Savings (MWh) as a Percentage of Electricity Sales (MWh) in 2014

Source: Energy Efficiency in California’s Public Power Sector Status Report, March 2015 http://cmua.org/wpcmua/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-FINAL-SB-1037-Report.pdf, and EIA Electricity Retail Sales Form 861at http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data.cfm.

Note: EIA reported electricity sales and revenue for 32 POUs. Differences in the composition of the consumer base can have a significant effect on electricity sales in a specific POU territory.


Efficiency Program Expenditures as a Percentage of Revenue

This metric compares annual utility energy efficiency program costs in dollars to its annual electricity sales revenue. In 2014, shown in Figure 2, POUs spent on average 1.3 percent of their total revenue on energy efficiency programs, which is a slight decrease from the 2013 average of 1.4 percent.

Figure 2: POU Energy Efficiency Program Expenditures as Percentage of Revenue in 2014
Figure 2: POU Energy Efficiency Program Expenditures as Percentage of Revenue in 2014

Source: Energy Efficiency in California’s Public Power Sector Status Report, March 2015 http://cmua.org/wpcmua/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-FINAL-SB-1037-Report.pdf, and EIA Electricity Retail Sales Form 861at http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data.cfm.

Note: EIA reported electricity sales and revenue for 32 POUs. Differences in the composition of the consumer base can have a significant effect on electricity sales in a specific POU territory.


Efficiency Program Expenditures and Reported Electricity Savings

This metric compares annual utility expenditures on energy efficiency programs to reported electricity savings, shown in Figure 3. Individual POU electricity savings, scaled on the left, range from 1 MWh to 252 gigawatt hours (GWh). Program expenditures, scaled on the right, range from $495 to $78 million. In 2014, POUs spent approximately $170 million on energy efficiency programs and reported roughly 570 GWh in electricity savings. SMUD and LADWP reported combined expenditures close to $119 million and jointly achieved 394 GWh in electricity savings. The midsized POUs reported $45 million in combined program expenditures and jointly achieved 159 GWh in electricity savings. The small POUs jointly spent more than $6 million and reported a combined 17 GWh in electricity savings.

Figure 3: POU Reported Electricity Savings and Program Expenditures in 2014
Figure 3: POU Reported Electricity Savings and Program Expenditures in 2014

Source: Energy Efficiency in California’s Public Power Sector Status Report, March 2015 at http://cmua.org/wpcmua/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-FINAL-SB-1037-Report.pdf.


Energy Efficiency Targets and Reported Savings

This metric shows progress toward achieving individual POU energy efficiency targets. Following legislative mandates, the Energy Commission adopted POU electricity efficiency target in 2007 of 6,630 cumulative GWh by 2016. Assuming a linear trajectory toward this 2016 goal, the cumulative eight-year (2007-2014) electricity savings target for 36 POUs is 5,049 GWh. The POUs’ reported combined electricity savings of 3,809 GWh represents roughly 75 percent of the eight-year benchmark. Combined SMUD and LADWP achieved roughly 72 percent of their cumulative benchmark, while the other 34 POUs achieved roughly 82 percent. Individual POU progress is depicted in Figure 4.

Figure 4: POU Energy Efficiency Targets and Reported Electricity Savings (2007 - 2014)
Figure 4: POU Energy Efficiency Targets and Reported Electricity Savings (2007 - 2014)

Source: Energy Efficiency in California’s Public Power Sector Status Report at http://cmua.org and Achieving All Cost-Effective Energy Efficiency for California Final Staff Report at http://www.energy.ca.gov/2007publications/CEC-200-2007-019/CEC-200-2007-019-SF.PDF


Cost-Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Programs

Public Resources Code Section 25000-25009 requires a cost-effectiveness assessment of energy efficiency programs. California’s practice is based on the Standard Practice Manual, originally published by the Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in the 1980s and revised many times since. The Standard Practice Manual describes various cost-effectiveness tests for publicly funded energy efficiency programs, the most common of which is the Total Resource Cost (TRC) test.

The TRC test includes the identified benefits of the program such as avoided generation costs divided by the net costs, which include both the utility and participant costs. When the TRC test ratio is greater than 1.0 for a utility program or portfolio of programs, it is deemed to be cost-effective. The POUs’ combined TRC averaged 2.24 in 2014, which is 0.49 higher in benefits than their averaged TRC of 1.75 reported in 2013. The POUs’ 2014 reported TRC scores are shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: POU Reported Total Resource Cost Test Results in 2014
Figure 5: POU Reported Total Resource Cost Test Results in 2014

Source: Energy Efficiency in California’s Public Power Sector Status Report, March 2015 at http://cmua.org/wpcmua/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-FINAL-SB-1037-Report.pdf

Note: Rancho Cucamonga TRC score was excluded from computing the average score.