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Measures and Investment Options for Community Energy Conservation
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Municipalities and electric and gas utilities have for the past decade offered ratepayers incentives for conserving energy. The energy conservation strategies used have varied depending on the goals of the local utility. The cost-effectiveness of these strategies, however, has been debated because of the limited activity in producing quantifiable data and the lack of documentation of methodologies. Because the cost-effectiveness and the reach of current energy programs is often unknown, the return on investment to the utility, city, or the ratepayer is often without quantifiable documentation. The development of municipal or utility energy conservation programs centers principally on economic and social issues. Utilities look at energy efficiency and demand management as a cheaper option than the construction of a new power plant. Municipalities consider energy efficiency because it promotes awareness and therefore helps keep utility bills low for its citizens. The two viewpoints may combine as in the case of the City of San Antonio and its municipally owned utility, City Public Service. A dilemma, therefore, arises when a municipally owned utility has excess capacity. The municipality demands that its utility provide for growth and maintain rates, two goals which may conflict. In this project, the City of San Antonio's Office of Public Utilities assessed the potential for energy conservation and its relationship to meeting the community's economic growth objectives. The project evaluated the municipally owned utility's energy conservation goals and objectives, current and future programs, and its forecasting and generation plans. Emphasis was placed on evaluating and developing cost-effective residential energy conservation programs designed for the San Antonio area and determining a "best-set" of programs based on a detailed economic analysis.
Myers, M. S.; Korinchock, D. (1986). Measures and Investment Options for Community Energy Conservation. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from