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Energy EfficiencyUnregulated Fuel Vendors

While the utility provision of energy efficiency measures has evolved into a multi-billion dollar investment, many would argue that faced with increased competitive pressure and, particularly in the aftermath of restructuring, utility financial support for making such investments should fall sharply. In its place, it is argued that a competitive market in energy services will emerge.

A competitive market, however, may not adequately support an appropriate supply of energy efficiency investments for low-income households. As a result, continuing involvement by utilities in the provision of low-income energy efficiency is needed. This is not to say that the introduction of competition into the electric industry should have no impact on the delivery of low-income energy efficiency. There must simply be new institutions to effect such delivery.

One mechanism for pursuing such low-income energy efficiency is through the development of partnerships with agencies and institutions --public and private-- involved with affordable housing development.

Currently, the paradigm for pursuing low-income energy efficiency is one of state regulatory commissions seeking to control the design and management of utility programs offered as a part of utility service, and state weatherization agencies delivering a federally-funded social service. This would shift to a paradigm where the delivery of energy efficiency is accomplished through shelter-based partnerships.


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"Linked Deposits" as a Utility Investment in Energy Efficiency for Low-Income Housing

Financing Low-Income Energy Efficiency in a Competitive Electric Industry
Changing Paradigms for Delivering Energy Efficiency to the Low-Income Consumer by Competitive Utilities: The Need for a Shelter-Based Approach
Loan Guarantees as a Utility Investment in Energy Efficiency in Low-Income
Low-Income Energy Efficiency: Planning, Designing, and Financing
Energy Efficiency as a Credit Enhancement: Public Utilities and the Affordability of First-Time Homeownership
Competitive Solicitation as an Integrated Resource Planning Model: Its Competitive Impacts on Small Businesses Serving Low-Income Households
Linked Deposits: Financing for Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing (1998)
Energy Efficiency as an Affordable Housing Tool in Colorado (2003)


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