Pathways for Energy Efficiency in Virginia

An op-ed recently published by the Richmond Times Dispatch showcased the work of two members of the EFG Team, Jim Grevatt and Liz Bourguet, to illustrate how Dominion Energy Virginia can meet the  energy savings goals established by the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA). The op-ed promotes the key takeaway from their work: that Dominion can meet and exceed its energy savings targets in an equitable and cost-effective way. And the op-ed highlights how these energy savings are an opportunity to benefit all Virginians, including small businesses that would save money through small business-focused energy efficiency programs.

EFG was asked by the core team clients, The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), The Nature Conservancy, The National Housing Trust, and Virginia Advanced Energy Economy, to develop multiple pathways the utility can follow to reach its energy savings goals, each pathway highlighting ways to serve different customer segments.

To do so, Liz and Jim developed a tool that incorporates reported costs and savings from a dozen other large utility energy efficiency portfolios. The tool allows users to develop scenarios that describe different combinations of programs at varying penetration levels and compare the resulting savings and costs.

Using the tool, they developed four sample scenarios that highlight different policy priorities while maintaining opportunities for all eligible customer sectors. Each of these scenarios demonstrates compliance with the VCEA, which requires that certain utilities achieve specified energy efficiency savings beginning in 2022. Additionally, the tool measures compliance with the VCEA requirement that at least 15% of the proposed costs of energy efficiency programs be allocated to programs designed to benefit low-income, elderly, or disabled individuals or veterans.

The tool and scenarios, which were compiled into a report, show that meeting the 2022-2025 VCEA savings requirements is achievable by implementing the kinds of energy efficiency programs that commonly provide the majority of energy savings for leading electric utilities.

The tool can be used by anyone to develop pathways that illustrate how Dominion can reach its energy savings requirements. The tool and the report, as well as a user manual for the tool and a fact sheet describing key findings of the project, are accessible to the public on the ACEEE website. We encourage everyone to check them out!