Planning and innovating to meet demand
The demand for electricity continues to grow as our community expands. While we develop more homes, welcome more families and build more schools and businesses, we become stronger. Growth is good! But it is also complex. Never-ending demand for electricity is not sustainable.
Meeting this challenge requires innovation and new approaches. We’re working to accommodate growth by incorporating new technologies, increasing energy efficiency and investing in innovative programs that help reduce demand and finding environmentally friendly ways to produce electricity. With a diverse mix of energy resources, LES produced the equivalent of 46% of our retail energy sales from renewable generation in 2019.
In conjunction with National Renewable Energy Laboratory and FleetCarma, LES conducted an electric-vehicle study with 90 customer-owned vehicles, representing 15 different all-electric or plug-in hybrid electric models. This study will help us gauge customers’ charging behaviors and the associated impact on our local grid. We received two grants to help support the project: The American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Development program awarded us a grant of $46,075, and the Nebraska Environmental Trust awarded LES with a grant of $20,200.
We’re excited to see significant progress as we implement these initiatives. Our community will continue to grow and strengthen. With these efforts, we can do so sustainably.
Sustainability: LES in 2019
This demand response program uses smart thermostats to reduce the electrical demand on the system during peak times. The Peak Rewards program added over 500 customers in 2019. Since its launch in 2017, the program now has over 1,600 customers – reducing peak demand by about 2.2 megawatts!
Sustaining the environment
LES educated more than 22,000 people about sustainable living, solar power and saving energy through education and outreach efforts. This included 1,500 attendees at LES’ premier event, the LES Sustainable Living Festival, held in the Railyard.
The Sustainable Energy Program disbursed $1.5 million in financial incentives for 2,100 residential, commercial and industrial energy-efficiency and demand-reduction projects.