Efficiency Smart 3.0: Providing Customized Energy Savings for Members5 min read
AMP members will soon have more energy efficiency options available with the rollout of Efficiency Smart® 3.0 – a more flexible version of the program. Efficiency Smart 3.0 offers a wide range of products and services at different price points to serve members of all sizes and levels of efficiency needs.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on customization,” said Randy Corbin, AMP assistant vice president of energy efficiency. “Efficiency Smart 3.0 allows members to further customize with new standalone features to benefit communities of all sizes and geographic locations.”
Participants in Efficiency Smart 3.0 can elect to receive the same level of comprehensive services currently available, or choose additional performance-based options with varying price points depending on the desired level of sales reduction. These programs include Basic Performance (with a 0.25 percent annual load reduction), High Performance (with a 0.5 percent annual load reduction) and Enhanced Performance (with a 1.0 percent annual load reduction).
The Custom Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Program is a new addition to the menu, geared toward communities who are only interested in commercial and industrial services. The program offers a 0.50 percent annual C&I sales reduction.
Communities are also able to select from a menu of a la carte services, including the Business Energy Rebates Program for small to mid-sized businesses, a discounted online lighting store for residential customers, residential efficient appliances, home energy audits, C&I audits and other customized options. These can be chosen in conjunction with or in lieu of the performance-based options. All Efficiency Smart services come with periodic performance reports and the ability to add additional services as needs arise.
These new flexible energy-saving programs and services give communities more control with the ability to select a program or combination of programs that can best meet the community’s desired goals and budgets.
“AMP members requested a level of flexibility beyond what previous Efficiency Smart programs offered,” said Corbin. “And that is exactly what we’re hoping to achieve with the new program. We want to give our members the flexibility they need in order to implement the efficiency services that meet the unique needs of their communities.”
Efficiency Smart has been providing comprehensive energy efficiency services to subscribing AMP members since 2011. The program is administered by the Vermont Energy Investment Corp. (VEIC) under a performance-based contract with, and oversight by, AMP.
Efficiency Smart offers AMP members access to professional energy efficiency services, executed at the local level and tailored to each member’s unique needs. This partnership with communities helps save money for residential and business customers through energy efficiency initiatives.
“We saw a need for efficiency projects, but didn’t know where to start,” said Sue Clark, director of economic development for the City of Bowling Green. “We saw a great solution in Efficiency Smart.”
With the help of the program, Bowling Green was able to create a plan that went hand in hand with its revolving loan fund, providing affordable ways for companies to update to more efficient infrastructure and fixtures, and lower their operation and maintenance costs.
“Virtually every manufacturer in the city has taken advantage of Efficiency Smart programs with upgraded lighting, compressors or other updates in infrastructure,” said Clark. “It’s been one of the best economic development tools to have in my back pocket.”
Investing in energy efficiency can encourage economic development, helping local businesses control operating and maintenance costs, and acting as a business retention and attraction tool. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, approximately 21 jobs are created for every $1 million in related energy efficiency investments.
In addition to spurring economic development, energy efficiency also provides cost savings and reduces electric load. Communities that have participated in Efficiency Smart over the past five years have reduced their electric load by an average of 3.6 percent and have received $4 in benefits for every dollar spent. Additionally, all Efficiency Smart performance guarantees to the participating communities have been met.
More than 50 AMP member communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan have subscribed to energy efficiency services from Efficiency Smart. In the current 2014- 2016 contract period, Efficiency Smart has already achieved 123 percent of its cumulative three-year performance target and is positioned to eclipse 100 percent of each participating community’s individual energy-saving targets by the end of the contract period.
“We’ve achieved 73 percent of our three-year goal and we’re barely over halfway there,” said Kevin Maynard, director of public utilities for the City of Hamilton and member of the AMP Board of Trustees.
Efficiency Smart worked with Hamilton to assist with the financing and installation of more than 27,800 energy-efficient devices including light bulbs, appliances and LED lighting for the city’s residential, commercial and industrial customers.
With the help of Efficiency Smart, Hamilton has an expected $8.5 million of lifetime customer savings, and has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 12 million pounds annually – roughly equivalent to the emissions produced by 798 homes. According to Michael Gurr, Hamilton’s field services superintendent, the city’s customers have been largely supportive, primarily due to the long-term savings and outlook.
“The lifetime savings far exceed the cost to the local consumer,” said Gurr. “We’ve had wonderful acceptance with the city.”
Energy efficiency is the lowest cost option compared to the cost of new power supply options, has the least risk of any power supply resource and can be a catalyst for economic development. Efficiency Smart recently began the subscription process for its new 3.0 services. For more information about Efficiency Smart, please visit www.efficiencysmart.org or the Efficiency Smart page of the AMP website.