The option for industrial firms to self-direct or opt-out of public- or system-benefit funded programs creates a number of considerations for both the industrial customer and the energy efficiency program administrator. This paper reviews the benefits and costs of choosing one approach versus another, why a firm may opt-out or opt-in, and how various program administrators address both programmatic and portfolio issues. Presentation takeaways include suggestions as to whether, on an average, an industrial customer's participation in public/system benefits programs is a net positive and whether program administrators should seek their participation. Where imbalances are identified, ideas to mitigate them are offered. The presentation is designed for industrial customers weighing the costs and benefits of opting in and utility program administrators and planners seeking to address the issues associated with industrial opt-out/opt-in provisions.
The presentation reviews policies and procedures from a number of jurisdictions including mature markets such as California and newly developing markets such as North Carolina. A series of examples, based on actual projects, are used to illustrate how a project would be viewed from the perspective of an industrial customer (e.g., M/V costs to participate versus incentives, time involved to implement versus any acceleration or delay caused by public/system benefit programs). A review of participation/non-participation impacts to the program administrator are used to suggest the value of an industrial customer's participation. In addition, specific program policies that hinder or increase program participation are described and valued.