Smart Energy Use

BPA, LADWP energy efficiency efforts recognized by ACEEE

Bonneville Power Administration and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power energy efficiency efforts were recently recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

BPA and the LADWP received Exemplary Program Awards from ACEEE and were two of dozens of award recipients, which included both electric and natural gas utilities and span a wide range of program types and technologies. Programs range from low-income residential to strategic energy management for large businesses, and from high efficiency lighting to complete building retrofits.

BPA’s Energy Smart Industrial program was honored for saving nearly 1.4 million megawatt-hours of verified energy since 2009. The energy savings reduced BPA-served industrial load by more than 7 percent over the last decade, BPA noted. BPA’s program was recognized by ACEEE in the medium and large commercial and industrial segment.

The Energy Smart Industrial program offers support and provides rebates to more than 110 enrolled BPA electric retail utilities and their industrial customers. It serves a variety of industrial and technical opportunities including traditional custom projects, strategic energy management, small industrial and lighting.

“Each member of the team works tirelessly to help industrial utility customers meet and exceed their energy savings goals,” said Todd Amundson, acting industrial sector lead at BPA. “This recognition really illustrates their dedication. I look forward to working with the region’s industrial customers to achieve even higher levels of energy savings.”

Now in its 10th year, the Energy Smart Industrial program currently serves customers across seven states, including large municipalities, small rural areas, and participants from broad industrial categories.

ACEEE first recognized the Energy Smart Industrial program as an exemplary program in 2013.

BPA noted that it accrues energy efficiency savings across five primary sectors: residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and federal – as well as through secondary avenues such as improved building codes and savings that occur independently of specific programmatic efforts. 

Additional information about the BPA program is available here.

LADWP

LADWP’s energy efficiency efforts were recognized in the category of utility partnerships.

LADWP and Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) have formed a partnership through a Master Inter-Utility Agreement (MIUA) to deliver efficiency programs to their four million common customers, the residents and businesses of the city of Los Angeles.

ACEEE noted that this efficiency partnership features two levels: the master umbrella agreement and the multiple program orders (individual programs) that impact their customers.

Program types include energy savings incentives paid directly to customers, direct-installation programs provided at no cost to customers, technical services and outreach programs that help guide customers to utility incentives, research and demonstration programs supporting new technologies and increasing efficiency standards.

All joint programs have the potential for electric and natural gas savings, with the exception of one program with gas and water savings.

ACEEE noted that LADWP administers some programs on behalf of the partnership and SoCalGas administers others.

The partnership structure “allows much flexibility,” ACEE said, noting that the lead utility for each program determines the method of providing services, arranges for contracts as needed, and leads marketing efforts.

The partner utility also promotes joint programs and funds the measures and/or savings under its purview (LADWP for electric and water savings, SoCalGas for gas savings). The structure allows LADWP to participate in California statewide investor-owned utility programs, adapted for the joint customers.

“The efficiency partnership is a true public–private partnership, uniting two large utilities via an umbrella agreement and navigating the separate regulatory structures each utility must adhere to,” ACEEE said. “After six years, it is going strong and is flexible enough to quickly add new or modify existing programs as conditions warrant.”

It features a streamlined process for customers to access incentives from both utilities through one utility contact, increases customer participation and incentives, and helps reach state conservation goals faster. The model has already been replicated by SoCalGas with other municipal electric utilities, the report noted.

Lessons learned from the partnership include:

  • The two utilities leverage each other’s existing programs to offer more measures at a lower overall cost and reach more of their common customers;
  • The tiered structure of this partnership has proven very valuable; it is worthwhile to work out the legal logistics in one document and apply them to all partnership efforts to keep programs streamlined and easy to develop;
  • Customers and contractors appreciate the expanded scopes of work and increased incentive levels; and
  • Make adjustments as needed. With different regulatory structures, LADWP and SoCalGas must respond to somewhat different conditions and directives. If a specific program is no longer useful for one utility, replace it with something else.

A report on the efficiency programs recognized by ACEEE is available here.