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New York State of Efficiency: How New York's Utilities Have Stepped Up To Meet The Regulatory Challenge

In June of 2008, New York State created the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS). This statewide initiative’s goal was to reduce New York’s energy consumption by 15% by the end of 2015. New York had introduced one of the most ambitious energy-reduction plans in the nation. At Lime Energy, we believe that energy reduction plans such as New York’s are soon to become a model for the entire nation, and we believe utilities around the nation need to be prepared to meet ever-increasing efficiency goals. In this blog post, we will examine the regulations that have spurred the advancement of energy efficiency in New York, how Lime Energy has helped New York’s utilities meet these regulations, and how these solutions can apply to utilities in any state – especially those most likely to enact ambitious energy efficiency goals in the near future.

Driving Economic Growth & Environmental Sustainability Through Energy Efficiency in New York

The Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard’s ultimate goal was to motivate all energy consumers to take on energy efficiency opportunities and measures. Traditional utility energy reduction programs, designed primarily to target large Commercial & Industrial energy consumers and residential utility customers were not going to be enough. New York’s utilities would need to get creative and find ways to reach previously untapped sections of the marketplace.

The EEPS for New York sought to make people realize the benefits of energy efficiency, which are numerous: a safer and cleaner environment, lower energy bills, and new development opportunities for the economy, including more jobs. It also sought to empower utility customers to take control of their energy bills every month by being more aware of where their energy usage is coming from and what they can do to change it, and save energy.

Utilities in New York were expected to turn in energy efficiency programs to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval. Also, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and additional smaller organizations, turned in energy efficiency programs for approval by the Commission. Since June 2009, the Commission has approved over 90 electric and gas energy efficiency programs, along with rules to guide implementation and measure results.

The New State of Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in New York

Small businesses make up a huge part of any local economy, constituting 90% of all commercial customers and creating 65% of all jobs over the past 20 years. When small businesses miss out on energy efficiency programs, it not only impacts these important customers and their energy bills, it adds significantly to New York State’s energy usage every year.

Small Businesses have traditionally been a difficult to reach segment of a utility’s customer base. In order for New York to achieve the goals laid out in the EEPS, however, these small businesses would need to be engaged at a comprehensive level. Engaging SMBs in new energy efficiency programs was needed to help New York reach its aggressive goal of a 15% reduction in energy usage by 2015 as well as help these small business have an impact on their local economies through energy & revenue savings.

Lime Energy uses our Integrated Services Model (ISM) to reach & engage small businesses more thoroughly and effectively. Lime Energy delivers energy efficiency through its three stage model – Visualize, Optimize, Realize. We have designed a turn-key energy efficiency program with centralized administration to make the program highly beneficial to more small business customers as well as our valued utility clients.

Lime Energy’s turnkey approach stands in stark contrast to the traditional direct install model. Lime handles the administration and implementation of the entire program from performing market research on the locale’s small businesses, executing data-driven marketing campaigns, and establishing an educated, professional sales force for outreach to executing the energy audits, implementing the projects and assisting with measurement and verification. Lime’s risk-mitigated pay-for-performance model also ensures transparency and aligned incentives from engagement through implementation to EM&V.

The Results: How Lime Energy’s Integrated Service Model Performed in New York

Lime Energy has served many of NY’s largest utilities. By helping utilities to get small businesses on board with energy efficiency, Lime was able to have huge impact in New York and contribute significantly to New York’s Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard of reducing New York State’s energy consumption by 15% by 2015.

In New York State, the economic impact of Lime Energy’s energy efficiency programs was substantial:

  • 34,245 energy efficiency projects completed
  • 2,605 jobs created over duration of program
  • <494,714,145 kWh total annual savings

It is still unknown whether New York State will reach the aggressive targets from the 2008 EEPS. A new paper from The Pace Energy and Climate Center titled, Charting the Course for Energy Efficiency in New York: Lessons from Existing Programs suggests “EEPS has substantially achieved its to-date electricity savings targets.” It also recognizes Lime Energy programs as being among the top performers in the state.

The effective execution of these programs in New York demonstrates that Lime’s Energy’s Integrated Services Model, with its turnkey program elements (outreach, auditing, implementation & reporting) not only help utilities to save significant energy usage, but it also reaches the traditionally under-served, yet vitally important, segment of the market, small business owners.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact Lime Energy has been able to achieve within New York State further reflects their impact on the EEPS and the associated goals. The environmental impact in New York that Lime Energy influenced by their energy efficiency model is equivalent to:

  • 279,615 acres of forest saved
  • 71,817 cars removed from the roads
  • 95 wind turbines installed
  • 793,328 barrels of oil not consumed
  • Power 31,125 homes
  • 366,413,140 pounds of coal not burned

Our Commitment

Lime Energy is committed to helping utilities and their small business customers achieve significant energy savings through our next generation of direct install programs. We’re proud to have had such a substantial impact on New York’s local economy, environmental sustainability, and energy efficiency implementation.

New York may have been at the forefront of energy efficiency regulation, but it is far from the last state that will enact regulation and stout energy efficiency goals. More and more states are rapidly using regulation as a tool to drive energy efficiency, and Lime Energy is perfectly positioned to help your utility achieve even the most ambitious of savings goals. Download our case study on New York’s programs right here and learn more about the impact that reaching small businesses in your community can have for your utility, your state, and your local economy.

About Lime Energy

Lime Energy is building a new energy future.  As a leading national provider of energy efficiency for small business customers, Lime Energy designs and implements direct install programs for our utility clients which consistently exceed program savings goals.  Our award-winning, integrated service programs provide utilities with reliable energy efficiency resources while delivering the highest levels of customer satisfaction.  This next generation approach is helping utilities across the country to go deeper and broader with the cheapest, cleanest and fastest energy resource that we have – energy efficiency.

For more information on how we can help, contact our SVP, Alex Castro.


Pace Law School, The Pace Energy and Climate Center.




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