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Energy Efficiency Holds Steady at 2.5 Cents per Kilowatt-Hour, Even as Costs of New Power Generation Rise

September 2009 - Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency remains America’s cheapest, cleanest, and fastest energy source for five years running, according to an American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) study.
The utility cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy efficiency has held steady or even slightly declined at about 2.5 cents over the last half decade, even as the costs for new coal, nuclear, and other supply-side energy alternatives have risen. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2020 new conventional power plants including coal and nuclear will cost about $0.10 per kWh, or four times higher than current energy efficiency program costs.
The ACEEE report looks at energy efficiency programs from recent years in 14 states, with utility costs ranging from $0.016 to $0.033 per kWh and an average cost of $0.025 per kWh.
This study updates findings from 2004 showing that the average cost of delivering energy efficiency programs in the U.S. was then 3 cents per kWh.


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