New Mexico Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy
Efficiency is the cheapest "source" of energy. The savings from efficiency also have a synergistic relationship with both wind and solar energy. Both wind and solar have most of their costs up-front since they do not have a fuel cost. The capital requirements of wind and solar can be reduced through efficiency programs and the savings from energy efficiency can be used to offset the high cost of solar energy.
Energy efficiency programs are demand side reductions that can have broad impacts on energy affordability. It may be rather obvious that those obtaining more efficient appliances benefit from reduced utility costs, but others benefit by avoiding fuel supply shortages that can drive up costs dramatically as was seen in the California energy crisis. And everyone benefits by avoiding the cost of building fossil fuel power plants to meet expanding demand.
In its role as regulators, the Public Regulatory Commission, under direction from laws passed by the legislature, requires utilities to implement efficiency programs for its customers.
CCAE backed the successful passage of HB 305 in the 2008 legislature that provides incentives to utilities to pursue efficiency that benefits consumers by lowering their utility costs. This efficient potfolio standard requires at least a 5% reduction through efficiency by 2014 and 10% of 2005 usage by 2020.