This document is 'Chapter 4.1: Energy Efficiency Resource Standards' of the Energy and Environment Guide to Action. Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERSs) require obligated parties—usually retail distributors of electricity—to meet a specific portion of their electricity demand through energy efficiency (NCSL 2014).
As of March 2015, 27 states have some type of energy efficiency requirement or goal. Twenty-three states have mandatory energy efficiency requirements, two states have voluntary targets, and two states allow energy efficiency as a compliance option for their renewable portfolio standard (RPS)15 (ACEEE 2014d; DSIRE 2015).
EERS designs vary considerably across the states. They vary in terms of:
• The target type—incremental or annual, relative (percent) or absolute (gigawatt-hour, or GWh), rolling or fixed.
• Responsible entities.
• The portion of load covered.
• The stringency of targets.