Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- September 12, 2006 – The U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency have recently released a National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, naming energy efficiency (which includes demand response) as “critically underutilized in the nation’s energy portfolio.”

As distributed resources, energy efficiency and demand response have not typically received the national attention paid to clean energy technologies such as solar and wind. The report suggests that these resources are powerful tools in the effort to reduce the average cost of electricity, and increase its reliability.

The report, written by a board of 50 representatives from electric utilities, utility regulatory boards and consumer advocates, defines energy efficiency to include demand response and peak shaving programs. It goes on to recommend equal treatment of supply-side and demand-side resources in wholesale energy markets, recommending “investment in demand-side solutions in a way that is equivalent to (not necessarily the same as) supply and transmission solutions.”

This idea of a market design that equitably incorporates both demand- and supply-side resources is supported by Comverge, a company that provides environmentally responsible, low-cost peak electric demand reduction solutions. Comverge technology has supplied some 2,000 MW of peak capacity to utilities represented by the report’s authorship board, and another 615 MW of peaking capacity to utilities regulated under state commissions represented on the board.