Energy Efficiency: The Cleanest, Cheapest Resource

SELC works with utilities, regulators, and decision makers to advocate for energy efficiency and clean energy policies by reducing dependency on fossil fuels.


Photo © EE Image Database

SELC is focused on advancing our region toward a cleaner, smarter, and lower carbon energy future by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Maximizing the use of energy efficiency measures—using less energy to perform the same function—is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to help achieve this monumental goal, while meeting current and future energy demands.

Despite the proven benefits of energy efficiency, utilities in the Southeast lag behind those in other regions in delivering the benefits of energy efficiency to their customers. SELC is working with utilities, regulators, and other decision-makers to advocate for robust, inclusive energy efficiency programs and policies, avoiding the need for expensive new power plants, lowering customer bills, creating local jobs, and reducing carbon emissions and other air pollution.

What is Energy Efficiency?

Energy efficiency is the cleanest, most cost-effective resource available to meet our energy needs while reducing our reliance on dirty, outdated fossil fuel sources. Through investing in energy savings measures (i.e. increasing efficiency of lighting, appliances and other end uses, as well as other home efficiency upgrades including installing insulation, weather stripping, sealing leaky air ducts, etc.) which use less energy to perform the same function, customers can better manage their energy use and save money on electric bills while driving down energy costs across the board for all users.  

To make the benefits of energy efficiency more widely available to communities throughout the Southeast, SELC advocates for comprehensive utility efficiency programs and policies to provide customers with opportunities and incentives to upgrade lighting, heating and cooling systems, and insulation to meet their energy needs with less electricity.

Maximizing the use of energy efficiency helps to defer or avoid the need for expensive new power plants while lowering customer bills, reducing carbon emissions and other air pollution, and creating local jobs.

Why Energy Efficiency?

We believe every utility in our region should provide customers with access to robust energy efficiency programs and other offerings with the necessary funding and resources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Our goal is to reduce residential electricity consumption by 1% every year in our region through concentrated efforts and collaboration with decision makers. We work to implement programs, policies and regulations that allow Southeastern communities to more widely reap energy bill savings and other positive impacts of energy efficiency.  

Our strategy for the Southeast’s transition to a cleaner energy future includes promoting energy efficiency for its myriad benefits, making the business case to utilities and regulators, and working with utilities to create financial models that remove utility disincentives to pursue efficiency and encourage customers to save energy.  

How Are We Doing This Work?

We are focused on achieving greater energy savings from utility efficiency programs, including new programs to address gaps and important enhancements to existing programs (increasing individual utilities’ energy savings targets, increasing program budgets, etc.) by advocating with decision makers, including utility commissions, legislatures and the utilities themselves, to ensure that all customer sectors are able to reap the benefits of efficiency.

SELC works with decision makers at the local, state and federal levels to design and implement policies, regulations and legislation to promote efficiency, such as regulatory reforms to align utility business models with the pursuit of efficiency, efficiency building codes or tax breaks for energy efficiency upgrades.

Setting higher energy efficiency standards or regulations to promote efficiency ultimately creates large impacts in reducing energy waste in mass scale, lowering customer bills and reducing reliance on electricity produced by fossil fuels.

Alleviating Energy Burden Through Energy Efficiency

Many households in Southeastern states pay some of the highest monthly energy bills nationwide, forcing some families to choose between keeping the lights on and paying for groceries, medicine, and other essential needs. Energy efficiency is the most effective way to provide relief to hard working families and elderly people with fixed incomes who are struggling to manage monthly bills and energy use.

Greater reliance on energy efficiency measures can directly benefit both communities and our environment. Energy efficiency programs can provide significant bill relief for communities facing high energy burdens, create local jobs, reduce energy consumption, and reduce dependence on electricity generated by polluting power plants that negatively impact our environment.