PSCW approves Northern States Power Company-Wisconsin’s 2009 voluntary energy efficiency program

by preferred on August 20, 2009

NSPW proposes to implement voluntary utility customer service programs for both residential and business customers.
The proposed residential program, Community Conservation Program – Residential (Residential), would work with Focus on Energy to provide additional energy efficiency services in targeted communities for a two-year period per community. Proposed targeted communities include the city of Eau Claire from 2009-2010; the remainder of Eau Claire County and the city of Menomonie from 2010-2011; and the remainder of Dunn County from 2011-2012. The program seeks to increase participation in Focus on Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, which offers assistance and incentives to single-family homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. Eligible homeowners include NSPW customers who heat with natural gas and NSPW electric customers who have all-electric heat. Eligible customers may call Focus on Energy or the company, and then the company schedules a time for a Home Performance Consultant to assess the customer’s home. NSPW would provide an incentive of $255 to cover a significant portion of the Home Performance Assessment cost to the customer. Focus on Energy does not provide an incentive for completing the Home Performance Assessment. If the customer follows through with the consultant’s recommendations, the company provides bonus incentives that match most of Focus on Energy’s cash-back rewards for insulation, air sealing, and ventilation measures. No NSPW incentives are given for electric or natural gas measures that do not receive a Focus on Energy incentive. Program outreach is accomplished through cross promotion with Focus on Energy, presentations to local governments, direct customer mailings, newspaper and radio ads, and local events.
The proposed business program includes a series of three-year programs that provide information, energy efficiency technical assistance, educational offerings, and bonus incentives in three counties in the NSPW territory. The targeted counties and proposed program schedule are: Eau Claire County, 2009-2011; Dunn County, 2010-2012; and La Crosse County, 2011-2013. The program NSPW proposes is the Community Conservation Program – Small Business (Business). This program targets its marketing and outreach to small commercial customers, but all NSPW non-residential natural gas and electric customers are eligible. The program offers eligible participants free energy audits, and bonus incentives that are piggy-backed on top of any Focus on Energy incentive the customer can earn for installing energy efficient measures. Bonus incentives are available for installed natural gas or electric measures. No NSPW bonus is offered for a measure that does not also receive a Focus on Energy incentive. Program marketing, educational offerings, audits and incentives are coordinated with the Focus on Energy program.
Because NSPW’s voluntary utility program was filed as a customer service program, no energy savings goals were proposed. The energy savings generated by the program will be tracked by and credited to the Focus on Energy program. The proposed annual business program budget for 2009-2011 is $450,000. This budget breakdown includes $47,500 for program delivery costs and $402,500 for bonus incentive costs. The proposed annual residential program budget for 2009-2011 is $526,500, which includes $144,000 for program delivery costs and $382,500 for bonus incentive costs. No estimate of the program’s cost-effectiveness was provided. The program’s effectiveness will be evaluated annually by the Energy Center of Wisconsin. Measures of program effectiveness will include increased participation in Focus on Energy programs in the targeted community or greater savings per customer in the targeted community.

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