Monday, November 23, 2009

3.0 cents/kWh

Saving energy sounds like a virtuous objective, but could it be genuinely cost effective?
I've been studying a recent report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) that concludes that energy efficiency is far cheaper than buying power:
On the costs of "saving" kilowatt-hours (kWh) through utility ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs, the reported utility costs of saved energy (CSE) ranged from $0.023 to $0.044 per kWh (with a median value of 3.0 cents/kWh).
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the average retail price of electricity in Delaware in 2007 was 11.35 cents/kWh. For Delaware, a kilowatt hour saved may be worth as much as 3.78 kilowatt hours earned, illustrating the ACEEE report's conclusion that "energy efficiency is by far the least costly energy resource option available for utility resource portfolios." This means it would be far cheaper to meet Delaware's current and future energy needs through efficiency programs than it would through building new capacity or buying power from the grid.

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