SPEER In the News

Efficiency is what Texas Can (and Should) Do Best– Environmental Defense Fund, February 2015

“… I’ve seen Texas put its top minds to work before and innovate to lead the nation. And, last week, our energy efficiency experts laid out a blueprint to do exactly that. The South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER)…recently released a series of recommendations developed by more than 23 individuals, including former regulators and legislators, representatives of electric companies, non-profits, manufacturers, academic institutions, and more.”

AEMA: SPEER report reinforces need to expand demand response in Texas, Advanced Energy Management Alliance, February 2015

Statement in support of SPEER Commission recommendations on energy efficiency

The Advanced Energy Management Alliance (AEMA) applauds recommendations issued Tuesday by the South–central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) Commission on Texas Energy Efficiency Policy that lay out a blueprint for future efficiency policy in Texas that includes the expanded use of demand response.

Group offers blueprint for adding energy efficiency to the grid, Texas Energy Report, February 2015

The report, drawn up by the SPEER Commission on Texas Energy Efficiency Policy, offers detailed policy changes Texas could adopt to add energy efficiency into the state’s main electric grid as a measurable resource.

The commission underlines that energy efficiency and water savings go hand-in-hand, but it also point to challenges and barriers that must be overcome if Texas is to reap efficiency benefits.

“This document is meant as the beginning of an effort to reinvigorate the state’s dedication to energy efficiency as a resource that still holds massive potential. Efficiency is local, clean, cheap and abundant,” say the commission’s co-chairmen former Austin Mayor Will Wynn and former Dallas County Judge Margaret Keliher.

Texas Grid Operator Says Clean Energy Plan Could Raise Bills and Lead to Blackouts, StateImpact Texas, November 2014

“So ERCOT basically took what EPA recommended as a possible path for the state and cut it in half.” says Doug Lewin, executive director of the South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource, or SPEER. “With energy efficiency, the savings end up being greater than the cost because it reduces the entire cost to the system. So, to exclude that would not make a lot of sense and would artificially increase costs.”

Texas Revives Low-Income Energy Efficiency Proposal. The Texas Tribune. September 2014

“Six years later, if it hadn’t been done, something ought to have been done,” said Doug Lewin, executive director of the South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource, based in Austin.

Progress for long delayed energy efficiency program. TCAP. September 2014

A long-delayed program intended to deliver high-tech energy savings to low-income Texans may finally be getting back on track.

According to a recent report from an energy efficiency advocacy group, less than 1 percent of Texans with smart meters have ever logged into the state’s online portal to view their usage data. Less than 1/5th of one percent of customers employ smart-meter enabled energy savings devices, according to the report.

PACE in a Box – A New Tool to Boost Local Economic Development. Texas Town & City. August 2014

“A regional approach to PACE makes the most sense,” said Doug Lewin, Executive Director of SPEER. “If every city and county strikes out on their own, we’ll have a patchwork of requirements that will discourage contractors and property owners alike. We’re very hopeful that councils of governments will administer programs that cities and counties can opt into, providing consistency for local businesses.”

State Struggles to Launch Energy Efficiency Program.  The Texas Tribune. August 7, 2014

Doug Lewin, executive director of the South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER), based in Austin, said the program is one of several reasons for concern that Texas is letting its foot off the accelerator when it comes to making its grid “smarter.”

“Lots of people in other states would be thrilled to have what we have here,” he said. “But there is definitely a potential for going off the rails, and losing track.”

Smart meters hold untapped savings, more efficient electric use. Texas Energy Report. July 16, 2014

Consumer education, supports needed in Texas, report finds. Texans are only starting to tap intelligence from smart meters to use electricity more efficiently through time-of-use discounts or demand response deals, a new study finds.

How One Austin Home Produces more Energy than it Uses. State Impact. July 14, 2014

“By ramping up our energy efficiency efforts in the region, we could meet the requirements that have been laid out in a very cost-effective way,” says Doug Lewin, Executive Director of SPEER. Lewin says that power saved through energy efficiency is the cheapest source of power available, cheaper than natural gas.

12 Trends Leading us to Zero Energy Homes. Austin American Statesman. February 15, 2014

“Energy Star is really interesting,” Rashkin said at last week’s meeting of the South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource, or SPEER. “Zero is emotional.”

Texas, Where Oil  Rules, Turns its Eye to Energy Efficiency. New York Times. September 20, 2013

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs, if consistently implemented, could bring energy efficiency and distributed generation to scale. SPEER Executive Director Doug Lewin quoted on size of the opportunity and Texas’ potential to be a leader.

Dallas Beats Fort Worth in Energy Efficiency Rankings. Dallas Business Journal. September 17, 2013.

ACEEE’s City Scorecard invites competition between Dallas and Fort Worth. For now, Dallas wins ranking 14th among the cities ranked, while Fort Worth came in 26th.

Texas Cities Fall Short in Ranking of Energy Efficiency Policies. Houston Chronicle’s Fuel Fix. September 17, 2013.

Despite the title, four of Texas’ cities ranked in the top half; Austin was the top non-coastal city; and Houston and Dallas were top 5 non-coastal cities. Still, there is much to be done to improve and SPEER is hard at work to improve efficiency in the region’s cities.

What Does It Mean for Energy Efficiency to be a Resource? Forbes. August 7, 2013

EDF publishes an article about SPEER’s report “Toward a More Efficiency Electric Market.” The article explores the various market structures Texas may end up employing. Regardless of structure, efficiency could participate as a resource, competing with generation and other resources.

Texas Falls Behind in Electric Energy Efficiency. Texas Energy Report. June 26, 2013.

Texas Energy Report alerts its readers to the publication of SPEER’s report on including energy efficiency in the ERCOT electric market as a competing resource. From the article:

“This is a critical juncture for Texas’ electric markets as the Public Utility Commission of Texas, ERCOT and the stakeholders of the ERCOT market are seriously considering changes or additions to the current structure,” said Doug Lewin, SPEER executive director. “With this report we argue that energy efficiency must be included in future discussions as doing so will benefit all Texans. We strongly believe that energy efficiency can yield a more economically efficient market here, but like any competitor, it can only prove itself if it’s allowed in the game.”