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Assessing the costs and benefits of utility energy efficiency programs in Humboldt County, CA

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Title: Assessing the costs and benefits of utility energy efficiency programs in Humboldt County, CA
Author: Scheidler, Lucas E.
Abstract: An assessment of the energy efficiency potential, the costs, and the economic impacts of utility efficiency programs in Humboldt County, California is provided in this thesis. The county is currently assessing the feasibility of meeting at least 75% of their electricity needs with renewable energy. As such, Humboldt County is in particular need of cost-effective efficiency programs to reduce demand and limit the costly renewable energy capacity they must install. Aggressive utility efficiency programs could save 830 GWh and 4.56 MMtherms in existing residential and commercial buildings over the next 20 years (approximately 4% and 1% of yearly electricity and natural gas use, respectively). These savings could be achieved at an estimated cost to the utility of no more than $0.05/kWh and $0.34/therm. These costs are 14% below the Humboldt Bay Generating Station’s marginal generation cost and 49% less than PG&E’s natural gas acquisition costs. These programs are anticipated to have positive net economic impacts in Humboldt County. A fully customizable Energy Efficiency Impact Assessment Model (EEIAM) was developed to calculate economic impacts from efficiency investments. It is estimated that 5.4 full-time jobs/yr will be created installing efficiency measures and administering local programs with associated earnings of $247,000/yr and increased countywide economic output of $895,000/yr. Additionally, consumer energy bill savings are anticipated to be $3.7 million/yr. When a portion of these savings are spent within the community, an estimated 9.0 net full time jobs/yr would be induced, with associated net earnings of $214,000/yr and countywide net economic output of $872,000/yr.
Description: Thesis (M.S.)--Humboldt State University, Environmental Systems: Energy, Technology, And Policy, 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2148/797
Date: 2011-08

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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