As a trusted advisor, we help our customers reduce their energy consumption and costs while positively impacting the environment. Our Energy Efficiency group develops and implements operational and customer programs for our utilities that promote energy efficiency, conservation and demand response. These and other initiatives help our customers save energy, reduce their bills and ease their environmental impact.
Energy efficiency and/or peak demand reduction policies have been established in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to meet long-term customer and community sustainability needs. These states established annual incremental energy efficiency targets of up to 2% of customers’ usage. As a result, we began offering a suite of energy efficiency programs to meet or exceed the reduction targets. We also operate peak demand reduction programs in Pennsylvania that incentivize customers to reduce usage during critical periods—both strengthening system reliability and lowering customers’ electricity costs.
Our customer behavior-based energy efficiency programs delivered more than 5.4 million home energy usage reports to approximately 790,000 customers in 2018. By highlighting customers' energy usage characteristics and providing energy-saving tips, these programs saved approximately 183,000 megawatt-hours (MWh).
FirstEnergy partnered with lighting manufacturers to provide discounted, point-of-sale, high-efficiency lighting at many nationwide and local retail stores. In 2018, we incented the sale of nearly 6 million high-efficiency LED bulbs in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with approximately 194,000 MWh in efficiency savings.
FirstEnergy partners with the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal program to collect and dispose of refrigerators and freezers using the best environmental practices available. In 2018, we recycled more than 54,000 appliances, reducing the impact on landfills and removing almost 60,000 MWh from the grid.
Through our energy efficiency programs, customers achieved efficiency savings of more than 1.6 million MWh across these states in 2018. This resulted in lower customer bills and reduced power plant emissions, which contributes to a lower-carbon future.
Some residential customers can realize energy savings through significant incentives that offset the costs of major home efficiency upgrades, such as insulation and weatherization, major appliance upgrades, or heating and cooling system improvements. Others may benefit from smaller, incremental changes such as lighting improvements, enhanced energy usage data and education, or kits that provide common energy-efficient products.
FirstEnergy’s commercial and industrial programs offer solutions for small businesses, government entities, schools, and even the largest and most energy-intensive manufacturers and industries. Our portfolio of programs provides measures and financial incentives for customers to purchase qualifying high-efficiency products; recycle inefficient appliances; retrofit specialized processes; improve building shells; complete energy audits; adopt energy-saving behaviors or energy management practices; and create custom process solutions.
We offer programs for a wide range of commercial and industrial sectors including agriculture, consumer electronics, data centers, food service, construction and more.
FirstEnergy is actively involved in research to better understand efficiency opportunities in technologies and infrastructure such as next-generation heat pumps, advanced data center infrastructure, smart thermostats and advanced building design. We actively participate in and fund Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) projects focused on the assessment, testing, demonstration, deployment and transfer of energy-efficient technologies. We also partner with EPRI to research customer preferences and analyze data on the adoption of new technologies and electricity service plans.