Here is an interesting article from the Ft. Worth Star Telegram. It recounts evolution of the PUC demands on improving energy efficiency and green concerns in the world of Texas electricity ever since the market deregulated in 2000. It’s a pretty interesting read.
In short, the article talks about how since the market deregulated, there have been requirements built into all of the TDSPs, as well as different cities, that all new growth needs to be energy efficient to a percentage of all advancements. Early on, it was 15%, then 20%, in increasingly higher increments each year. So basically, X% of all energy growth needs to be in energy efficient and green energy areas. For this reason, Texas has been blowing past other states in regards to energy efficiency. However, this statistic is somewhat deceiving. But it’s still pretty good compared to the past, where there were little to no requirements to improve efficiency at all. Of course, lets not forget that a.) Some of these costs are being passed directly onto the customers and b.) the new presidential administration is throwing LOTS of money (grants, tax breaks, incentives) for institutions to get energy efficient and fast. So basically, there’s money to be made by doing it right. But if the outcome is desirable, that’s all that really matters, right?
So what’s the issue? Well, now there’ a proposal to make 50% of all improvements and growth fit into the guidelines of energy improvement and efficiency. So half of all growth. This is a HUGE number. Well, what would that mean? Some of that would probably mean more money out of the pockets of customers. But that’s not necessarily the big deal either (although customers and their electric rates might disagree). The problem is that companies are basically saying that they’ve done everything they can realistically do to get more efficient and green. They’re saying they’re rapidly running out of options. Is that true? Or are they simply running out of PROFITABLE options? It’s hard to say. What I can say is that 50% is a huge number. For example, if there was a new law that said that 50% of everything you purchased at a grocery store had to be healthy (organic, fresh produce, healthy nutritional value) then lots of people would be pretty damn unhappy. Companies probably feel the same way.
I guess the only interesting left is to see how things progress from here.