Good news! Last year’s energy efficiency program reports are in and the numbers are impressive. Entergy Louisiana, Cleco and SWEPCO all surpassed their energy savings goals and on average, came up under budget in reducing Louisiana’s peak demand by over 15 megawatts and saving ratepayers over $37.6 million. Here’s the breakdown:
Based on ACEEE’s energy efficiency & jobs estimates, these programs created approximately 207 full-time jobs in 2017, and saved 70,500 megawatt hours (MWh), just 1,000 MWh short of what Big Cajun 1 generated in 2016 & 2017 combined.
Unfortunately, many programs are still on hold for 2018, including Entergy Louisiana and Cleco.
If the recent heatwave in southern Louisiana is any indication, we’re in for a hot summer. And with the heat, comes high energy bills for many of us trying to stay cool. So what’s up with Louisiana’s energy efficiency programs?
Despite utilities continuing to collect through the Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery (EECR) rider, Entergy Louisiana and Cleco ratepayers have yet to see residential energy efficiency programs for 2018. Instead customers have been encouraged repeatedly to keep checking back on utility energy efficiency webpages.
Worst of all, this comes just on the heels of our high energy bills from the recent cold snap. All of this indicates our aging housing stock is in need of robust energy efficiency programs.
Currently, energy efficiency programs are available for SWEPCO, and Entergy New Orleans customers through the Energy Smart program, yet we need to see programs available to all Louisiana ratepayers, AND we need to see these programs expanded, with long-term permanent programs and goals put in place. Louisiana could become the next energy efficiency leader in the southeast. Following the innovative Arkansas model will allow Louisiana to become the new leader of energy efficiency in the southeast.
So, if you live outside of Orleans Parish, make sure to call your Commissioner and let him know how important these programs are. We can’t afford not too!