Program Experience and Its Regulatory Implications: A Case Study of Utility Lighting Efficiency Programs

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In this report, we review the experience of utilities with a variety of lighting efficiency program designs, as illustrated by a dozen recent utility programs for residential, commercial, and industrial customers. This experience is then examined in terms of regulatory implications in the context of least-cost utility planning. The key questions explored in our report are as follows:

  • How effectively are current utility programs mobilizing the technical potential of lighting efficiency resources?
  • How does the program-based cost of lighting efficiency differ from the technology-based costs used in technical potential studies?
  • What program designs appear to be most effective in reaching participants?
  • What are the trade-offs between maximizing participation rates and per-customer savings and minimizing program costs?

In addition to these program evaluation questions, we also explore regulatory implications of lighting program experience:

  • Could lighting program offer resources substantial enough to defer the construction of power plants?
  • What measures could be taken by regulatory commissions to ensure and facilitate further utility program improvements?

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