Rocky Mountain Power Proposes Reduction in Electricity Savings in Utah

Rocky Mountain Power Proposes Reduction in Electricity Savings in Utah
05 October 2017

Keep Utah Energy Efficiency Programs Growing!

Rocky Mountain Power Proposes cuts to Utah’s Successful Energy Efficiency Programs

Rocky Mountain Power Knows the Value of Energy Efficiency

For over a decade, Rocky Mountain Power has invested in an energy savings incentive program, called wattsmart, which helps countless Utahns save energy and money, and cut air pollution. Energy efficiency helps Utah families and businesses use energy more wisely, resulting in lower energy bills and less strain on our utility grid--actions that preserve our natural resources and shrink our environmental footprint. After all, the cleanest source of energy is the electricity we don’t use.

Rocky Mountain Power’s Energy Efficiency Programs are Hugely Effective

The utility’s energy efficiency programs, which offer incentives to use more efficient technologies (such as LED lighting, building controls and efficient heating and cooling systems) have saved Utah families and businesses a whopping $1 billion in reduced electricity costs since 2008 by cutting electricity use by 2.2 billion kilowatt hours over this timeframe. And let’s not forget, energy efficiency is a local economic engine that supports more than 30,000 Utah jobs.

You may ask why a utility would want to invest in helping its customers reduce their bills. The answer is simple. Energy efficiency saves utilities money! When Rocky Mountain Power helps Utahns save electricity, it costs the utility about 3 cents for every kilowatt hour saved through energy efficiency incentive programs, which is on par with or cheaper than many other energy resources.

The Issue: Reducing the Level of Energy Savings through Efficiency Programs

Energy savings line chart in 2017 IRP

In a move that defies common sense, Rocky Mountain Power is planning to severely cut its successful energy-savings programs in Utah beginning in 2018. Through these cuts, Rocky Mountain Power is taking a step backward from the level of energy savings in its own 2015 plan. These cuts translate to a 32% reduction in 2018, and a 27% reduction over the next 10 years as proposed in the utility’s most recent 20-year plan, which estimates the energy resources (i.e. wind, solar, and coal) needed to meet energy demand, and the amount of energy-saving resources they should invest in to reduce consumer demand for electricity. This projection stands in stark contrast to the utility’s own 2015 Plan, which projected it would increase energy savings programs over the next 20 years (though not keeping pace with leading utilities)!

A 32% cut in energy efficiency has significant consequences: Most importantly, this reduction is equal to 105,500 megawatt hours of electricity not saved in 2018. This amount of electricity is equal to the annual electricity consumption of 12,317 average Utah homes, and is equal to burning over 83 million pounds of coal.


Equivalencies to 32 percent savings cut in 2017 IRP

We Must Continue on Utah’s Energy-Savings Path

Conserving energy is a Utah ethic. Pursuing “energy conservation, energy efficiency, and environmental quality” is a recognized part of the State of Utah’s energy policy.  Energy efficiency is also a key component of Utah’s 10-Year Strategic Energy Plan and the premise of the subsequent Utah Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan both of which were developed at the request of Governor Herbert.

Instead of cutting its successful energy-savings programs that conserve energy, Rocky Mountain Power should increase them! We urge Rocky Mountain Power to commit to achieving a higher level of energy savings than in its 2015 plan starting in 2018 and into the future. Utah Clean Energy is working with other stakeholders to address these concerns and will be filing comments with the Utah Public Services Commission this autumn.

Let Rocky Mountain Power and the Governor’s Office of Energy Development know that you support increasing energy-savings programs, not cutting them. Learn how you can join in this effort by contacting Kevin Emerson at .