Energy efficiency has long been a concern for environmentalists but has been unable to break into the mainstream until recently. Part of this is because of increased pressure from the White House for states, businesses and federal agencies to begin adopting more policies that favor sustainability. But another reason for this development can be traced to state governments helping to ease the burden for utility companies by offering cost recovery programs and performance incentives to help make energy efficiency a more financially viable option.
A new report from the Edison Foundation's Institute for Electric Efficiency (IEE) shows that the number of states employing these methods – and in turn, promoting energy efficient living – has grown considerably in recent years, with a new total of 31 states using cost recovery tools like revenue decoupling. As defined by the Electricity Consumers Resource Council (ELCON), revenue decoupling is a strategy that circumvents a power company's typical method of making money – selling more energy for more profit – by essentially disconnecting a utility's revenue with its sales numbers so that offering energy efficiency makes financial sense.
According to the IEE's analysis, these types of policies have paid off, as eco-friendly living is on the rise all across the nation. Greentech Media reports that while the Northeast and West currently lead the charge in energy efficiency, states in the Midwest and Southeast are gaining ground and will account for 50 percent of the country within 15 years.
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