Utility demand-side management (DSM) executives predict they’ll have less savings from their energy-efficiency programs in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, most utility savings goals haven’t changed. And it’s unclear how many will.
During two virtual sessions of the E Source DSM Executive Council, we surveyed executives about COVID-19’s impacts on savings (figure 1). The majority of attendees said they expect their savings to decrease by at least 11% and many expect savings to decrease by more than 20%.
When we asked about their saving goals, however, a majority of attendees expected them to stay the same (figure 2).
Some utilities are facing budget uncertainty as well. Organizations in Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have requested that utility commissions redirect energy-efficiency funds or remove public-benefit charges from bills. We’re unaware of any commissions that have done this. Without energy-efficiency funds or public-benefit charges, it would be even harder for efficiency groups to reach their goals.