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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.

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilson, Elizabeth J. & Plummer, Joseph & Fischlein, Miriam & Smith, Timothy M., 2008. "Implementing energy efficiency: Challenges and opportunities for rural electric co-operatives and small municipal utilities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 3383-3397, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:9:p:3383-3397
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:eee:juipol:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:69-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:1:p:86-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Tierney, Sean, 2011. "The rural utility response to Colorado’s electricity mandates," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7217-7223.
    5. 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.
    6. Anis Radzi, 2015. "A survey of expert attitudes on understanding and governing energy autonomy at the local level," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(5), pages 397-405, September.

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