Rocky Mountain Power cutting cost-effective energy efficiency programs and investments!

Rocky Mountain Power cutting cost-effective energy efficiency programs and investments!
19 June 2018

Reducing our energy waste reduces pollution, improves air quality and helps to safeguard the climate. Furthermore, energy efficiency is the cheapest way to reduce demand for electricity. Smaller power demand makes it easier to power our communities with 100% renewable energy.

Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart energy efficiency programs reduce energy waste across Utah and provide economic benefits to all utility customers. Unfortunately, the company is planning to cut these beneficial programs again!

How Energy-Savings Program Benefit You

In 2017 alone, RMP reported that its wattsmart energy efficiency programs helped its customers save over 344 million kWh of electricity (equivalent to the annual electricity use of about 39,000 typical households in Utah). This level of electricity savings has a net economic benefit of nearly $140 million to all utility customers.[i]

RMP’s energy efficiency investments are one of the cheapest and cleanest resource and very cost-effective:

  • The cost of energy efficiency continues to be among the lowest-cost energy resource: in 2017 it cost only 2.8 cents for each kWh of electricity saved.[ii]
  • All Utah customers, regardless of whether they participate in the efficiency programs benefit from the low-cost energy savings. Every kWh saved is a kWh that Rocky Mountain Power does not have to generate or purchase on the energy market.  Every $1 invested through the wattsmart incentive program saves $2.86.[iii]
  • The business efficiency programs were even more cost effective, saving $3.27 for every $1 invested in the wattsmart incentive programs.[iv]
  • The energy efficiency sector also employs an estimated 31,077 Utahns, providing significant economic benefit to Utah families and businesses.[v]

Unfortunately, in its 2017 IRP Update, RMP is proposing to dramatically reduce energy efficiency investments between 2018 and 2027. The grey line in the table below shows RMP’s new plans to dramatically reduce cost-effective electricity savings over the next 10 years.[vi]


In addition, as compared to other utilities in the Southwest, Rocky Mountain Power is projected to see the largest reduction of electricity saving as a percent of its electricity sales, a common metric for utility efficiency performance.[vii]


While demand for electricity is lower due in part to the success of wattsmart energy efficiency programs, even when demand for electricity is decreasing energy efficiency continues to be the cleanest and most affordable way to meet electricity demand and reduce emissions associated with power generation.

Rocky Mountain Power is already cutting cost-effective energy efficiency programs! In May 2018, the company announced big cuts to its business lighting incentives, despite this program being highly cost effective. For example, in 2017 business lighting programs saved all utility ratepayers $3.28 for every $1 spent on the energy efficiency![viii]

Make Your Voice Heard

Please join Utah Clean Energy in urging Rocky Mountain Power to increase its electricity savings targets, rather than decreasing savings!        


Kevin Emerson, Energy Efficiency Program Director
Utah Clean Energy
(801) 903-2029


[i] PacifiCorp, Utah Energy Efficiency and Peak Reduction Annual Report (May 2018), Table 1 – DSM Portfolio Cost Effectiveness, pg. 6, http://www.pacificorp.com/content/dam/pacificorp/doc/Energy_Sources/Demand_Side_Management/2017/Energy_Efficiency_and_Peak_Reduction_Report_2017.pdf

[ii] Ibid. Appendix 2 Utah Cost Effectiveness, Memorandum on overall energy efficiency cost-effectiveness, Table 5 2017 Total Portfolio Cost Effectiveness, pg. 3.

[iii] Ibid, Table 12 Cost Effectiveness for Energy Efficiency Portfolio, page 22.

[iv] Ibid. Table 24 Cost Effectiveness for Non-Residential Energy Efficiency, page 35.

[v] Energy Futures Initiative and National Association of State Energy Officials, U.S. Energy and Employment Report, Energy Employment By State (May 2018), https://www.usenergyjobs.org/s/USEER2018_StateFacts.pdf

[vi] Source: NREL + LBNL technical analysis for Utah Solar Energy Innovation Network, May 2018 (unpublished analysis)

[vii] Ibid.

[viii] PacifiCorp, Utah Energy Efficiency and Peak Reduction Annual Report (May 2018), Appendix 2 Utah Cost Effectiveness, Memorandum on Wattsmart Business program cost-effectiveness, Table 16 Wattsmart Business Lighting Cost-Effectiveness Results, page 8.