Benchmarking Utility Clean Energy, a new report from sustainability advocacy non-profit Ceres and cleantech market research firm Clean Edge, ranks the 32 largest investor-owned electric utility companies according to renewable and efficiency deployments. These companies and their subsidiaries accounted for about 68% of U.S. retail electricity sales in 2012, according to the report.
The performance of these 32 companies today and going forward will go a long way to determining how fast the U.S. electric power sector can meet the EPA's proposed 30% CO2 emissions reduction target by 2030 and mitigate the imminent impacts of climate change.
The same goes for energy efficiency. The lowest-ranked companies were Public Service Enterprise Group, SCANA, Florida Power & Light, Pepco Holdings, Dominion Resources, Entergy and Southern Company – many of the same companies that ranked toward the bottom for renewables.
It all comes down to a “lack of policy,” Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and partner at Stoel Rives, told Utility Dive in an interview.
“It’s been nothing that the utilities have done per se,” Wellinghoff said. “Those places that don’t have those regulatory policies that provide for utilities expanding those resources, then you don’t see it happen.”
“There’s no utility that has an inherent incentive to improve the efficiency of its customer,” he added, “because, for the most part, that reduces revenues to the utility by reducing sales.”