APPENDIX G-2
ESTIMATING THE POTENTIAL FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS

Appendix G-2 presents the committee’s analytical process for determining potential for efficiency improvements in the New York City area (Zones I, J, and K). It also reviews the results of several other studies of energy such potential.

Statewide data were available for this potential (NYSERDA, 2003), but those data are not at the level of detail that allows judgments about the subregion addressed here. Thus, the starting point was an estimate for New York City that was derived from state data (Plunkett and Gupta, 2004). That analysis determined that New York City (Zone J) could benefit from a maximum achievable potential for improvement of 502 MW for 2007, at an avoided levelized cost of 3.3 cents per kWh (¢/kWh).

Using data on the economic potential for the residential sector and the commercial-buildings energy efficiency (in MWh) from NYSERDA (2003), it can be estimated that Zone K has 0.451 of the maximum achievable potential of Zone J. Therefore, the Zone K potential would be 226 MW. Assuming the southern part of Westchester County (Zone I) has half the maximum achievable potential of Zone K, its potential in 2007 would be 113 MW. Thus, the maximum achievable potential across all three zones would be 842 MW by 2007.

The data for residential and commercial economic potential in the appendix in NYSERDA’s 2003 report includes estimates for Zones J and K for 2007, 2012, and 2022. Plotting these estimates, one can interpolate the “missing years” of 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2015. Assuming a linear relationship, the maximum achievable potential for Zone J, starting with 502 MW in 2007, would be 529 MW in 2008, 563 MW in 2010, 624 MW in 2013, and 658 MW in 2015 (as shown in Table 2-4 of this report).

Assuming the same relationship between Zone J and Zone K (Zone K is 0.451 the size of Zone J), the potential for Zone K would be 239 MW in 2008, 253 MW in 2010, 281 MW in 2013, and 297 MW in 2015. Assuming that Zone I is half the size of Zone K, the potential for Zone I would be 119 MW in 2008, 127 MW in 2010, 140 MW in 2013, and 148 MW in 2015 (see Table 2-4).

Corroboration by Other City, Utility, State, and National Studies

A preponderance of evidence from multiple studies—undertaken with differing scales of analysis, sponsors, types of efficiency measures, time periods, and methods of evaluation—demonstrates that there is an immense amount of cost-effective potential for energy-efficiency improvements. The following subsections describe some of the “best practices” from around the United States.

Urban Initiatives

In Sacramento, California, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Residential Peak Corps Program was implemented in early 1979 to demonstrate the effectiveness of demand-side management in anticipation of the retirement of the Rancho Seco Nuclear Plant. The Peak Corps Program was intended to address summer peaking for cooling, when temperatures often climb above 100°F. The implementation of the program was aimed at the residential sector and emphasized only dual-relay alternating current (AC) cycles (which cycle the central air conditioners participating in the program 10 to 16 days per summer for durations up to 4 hours). Participating consumers could then save $20 per month off their electricity bill. The Peak Corps Program was promoted in two ways: (1) through direct mail, radio, and print advertising and (2) by Sacramento Municipal Utility District Rule 15, which requires that all new homes with central air conditioners participate in the program. As of 1994, the program cost approximately $3 million per year, involved 96,130 customers, and displaced a total of 12.1 MW of peak capacity (Sacramento Municipal Utility District, 1994).

A City of Toledo, Ohio, Municipal Energy Management Program implemented a three-phase plan to (1) retrofit lighting and ballast systems in buildings, (2) extensively retrofit 30 energy-intensive buildings, and (3) force energy efficient technologies in the construction of 20 new city buildings. These three phases alone (at a cost of $9.2 million) have saved $23 million since 1986 and displaced over 380 MWh per year (Ohio Department of Development, 2004).

Similarly, the School District of Philadelphia—the fifth largest in the country and home to 258 schools spread over 282 buildings—spends $32 million annually on energy. To conserve electricity, the school district implemented a remarkable efficiency program in 1983 that cost nothing. The program focused on no-cost measures, such as end-user habits like turning lights off and turning the heat down, and then used the savings to invest in capital improvements such as lighting retrofits, better controls, and weatherization. For the 1993-1994 school year, the school district saved over 15.8 GWh at an avoided cost of $8.5 million, representing a 25 percent reduction in the district’s energy costs and making monies available for investment in other efficiency measures (School District of Philadelphia, 1995).

Perhaps the best-known city-level efficiency program is Seattle City Light’s Electric and Multi-family Program, which targeted low-income residences for weatherization and ran for a very long time, from 1981 to 1997. During that time, the program weatherized 15,109 low-income houses (or a participation rate of almost 40 percent) by mandating



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