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Implementing energy efficiency: Challenges and opportunities for rural electric co-operatives and small municipal utilities

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  • Wilson, Elizabeth J.
  • Plummer, Joseph
  • Fischlein, Miriam
  • Smith, Timothy M.
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    Abstract

    Challenges in implementing demand side management (DSM) programs in rural electric co-operatives and small municipal utilities are not well understood, yet these organizations sell roughly 15% of electricity in the US, many are more coal-intensive than investor-owned utilities (IOUs), and they are politically important--rural electric co-operatives cover about 75% of the US land area and municipal utilities are found in every state except Hawaii. We provide a background on rural co-operatives and municipal utilities in the context of the US electric sector and highlight the challenges and opportunities of implementing DSM programs in these institutions. Where past studies of utility DSM have mostly focused on IOUs or consisted of qualitative case studies of municipal utilities with exemplary DSM performance, this study makes a unique contribution to the DSM literature by systematically analyzing an entire co-operative and municipal utility population in Minnesota through the use of a survey. In doing so, we provide policy recommendations relevant to energy planners and policy makers to support DSM in rural electric co-operatives and municipal utilities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 3383-3397

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:9:p:3383-3397

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    References

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    1. Blumstein, Carl & Goldman, Charles & Barbose, Galen, 2005. "Who should administer energy-efficiency programs?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1053-1067, May.
    2. Paul W. Parfomak & Lester B. Lave, 1996. "How Many Kilowatts are in a Negawatt? Verifying Ex Post Estimates of Utility Conservation Impacts at the Regional Level," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 59-87.
    3. Marvin J. Horowitz, 2004. "Electricity Intensity in the Commercial Sector: Market and Public Program Effects," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 115-138.
    4. Geller, Howard & Harrington, Philip & Rosenfeld, Arthur H. & Tanishima, Satoshi & Unander, Fridtjof, 2006. "Polices for increasing energy efficiency: Thirty years of experience in OECD countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 556-573, March.
    5. Bachrach, Devra & Carter, Sheryl & Jaffe, Sarah, 2004. "Do Portfolio Managers Have an Inherent Conflict of Interest with Energy Efficiency?," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(8), pages 52-62, October.
    6. Peltzman, Sam, 1971. "Pricing in Public and Private Enterprises: Electric Utilities in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 109-47, April.
    7. Greer, Monica Lynne, 2003. "Can rural electric cooperatives survive in a restructured US electric market? An empirical analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 487-508, September.
    8. Franz Wirl, 2000. "Lessons from Utility Conservation Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 87-108.
    9. Didden, Marcel H. & D'haeseleer, William D., 2003. "Demand Side Management in a competitive European market: Who should be responsible for its implementation?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1307-1314, October.
    10. David S. Loughran and Jonathan Kulick, 2004. "Demand-Side Management and Energy Efficiency in the United States," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 19-44.
    11. Eric Hirst, 1992. "Price and Cost Impacts of Utility DSM Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 75-90.
    12. Nadel, Steven & Geller, Howard, 1996. "Utility DSM : What have we learned? Where are we going?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 289-302, April.
    13. De Alessi, Louis, 1974. "Managerial Tenure under Private and Government Ownership in the Electric Power Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 645-53, May/June.
    14. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
    15. Paul L. Joskow & Donald B. Marron, 1992. "What Does a Negawatt Really Cost? Evidence from Utility Conservation Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 41-74.
    16. Martinot, Eric & Borg, Nils, 1998. "Energy-efficient lighting programs: Experience and lessons from eight countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(14), pages 1071-1081, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Pier Angelo Mori, 2013. "Customer ownership of public utilities: new wine in old bottles," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 2(1), pages 54-74, August.
    2. Tierney, Sean, 2011. "The rural utility response to Colorado’s electricity mandates," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7217-7223.
    3. Schelly, Chelsea, 2014. "Implementing renewable energy portfolio standards: The good, the bad, and the ugly in a two state comparison," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 543-551.

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