2030 Club

This initiative aims to recognize utilities with the most aggressive voluntary carbon reduction targets and provide benchmarking and best practices for utilities that are preparing to meet their own carbon reduction targets.

The 2030 Club is an initiative to recognize utilities around the country that have established some of the most aggressive voluntary carbon reduction targets. The utilities recognized as members of this group have all voluntarily committed to achieving at least an 80% reduction in carbon emissions or to transitioning to a generation supply comprised of at least 80% clean energy resources by 2030. As a part of this initiative, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) will explore the characteristics that enabled these utilities to become early adopters and innovators in the utility carbon reduction arena. SEPA intends for this initiative to provide benchmarking and best practices for utilities that are preparing to meet their own carbon reduction targets.

The energy transition is not limited solely to decarbonizing clean energy generation, particularly for utilities that own little or no generation assets. Carbon reduction strategies include a wide range of activities, including developing behind-the-meter customer programs and deploying energy storage and grid modernization technologies.

It is our hope that by recognizing these utilities’ actions, SEPA can help educate the industry on lessons learned, best practices, and actionable solutions that will help other utilities accelerate their transition to a carbon-free electric system.

Who is included in the 2030 Club? 

The 2030 Club currently includes 25 utilities, ranging from the country’s largest utility parent companies to small municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Members of the 2030 Club vary significantly in their business models, geographic location, size, and generation portfolios. The number of customers they serve ranges from roughly 8,000 to more than 5.5 million.

 

Introducing the 2030 Club and Their Commitments

Holy Cross Energy

To reach this objective, HCE will need to partner with its members to incorporate new, clean, dispatchable resources into its power supply mix, and effectively integrate a wide range of options for flexible consumption of electricity by the homes, buildings, vehicles and other resources HCE serves.

- Holy Cross Energy, 2020 Strategic Plan

Bob Frenzel

Xcel Energy is at the heart of our nation’s clean energy transition,”…“Guided by our customers’ priorities and enabled by rapidly changing technology, we’re driving toward a clean energy future, bringing reliable, affordable, increasingly clean energy to millions.

- Bob Frenzel, Chairman, President and CEO, Xcel Energy

Paul Lau

Our 2030 Zero Carbon Plan puts SMUD on a path to tackle the health, environmental and social impacts of carbon emissions…We must address the destruction that carbon is having on our environment, public health, our economy and our historically under-resourced communities for future generations.

- Paul Lau, CEO & General Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

2030 Target Progress

As shown in the Figure, “2030 Target Progress,” current 2030 target progress varies drastically. Some utilities are within striking distance of their targets and may achieve them ahead of schedule, while other utilities still have significant work ahead to achieve their goals. This variation can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the presence of existing clean generation resources as well as market dynamics.

Additionally, the levers these utilities will pull to decarbonize will differ significantly based on ownership of generating resources. Generation-owning utilities will be required to replace carbon-emitting generation with clean energy, whereas transmission and distribution-only (T&D) utilities will focus investments on customer decarbonization and T&D system upgrades.

In order to paint a fuller picture of the actions that 2030 Club utilities are taking to achieve their ambitious decarbonization targets, SEPA collected a wealth of secondary data on topics such as customer clean energy programs, forecasted load growth, and utility-scale clean energy deployment. In particular, as a part of our analysis, SEPA incorporated demand-side management and distributed energy resources (DERs) data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

SEPA analyzed three distinct sets of customer clean energy program data from EIA’s Form 861 to highlight how 2030 Club utilities are leveraging energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed solar to maximize the scale and diversity of carbon-free resources connected to the grid. Specifically, our analysis focused on energy efficiency savings as a percentage of total sales in megawatt-hours (MWh), potential peak demand reduction as a percentage of peak demand in megawatts (MW), and distributed solar capacity as a percentage of peak demand (MW).

We found that 2030 Club utilities are well ahead of their peers nationally in terms of energy efficiency savings, peak demand reduction potential, and distributed solar capacity. They are prioritizing the carbon reduction potential of demand-side resources to accelerate their transition to a carbon-free future.

  • From 2019 - 2021, 2030 Club utilities reported aggregated energy efficiency savings of 1.1% of electricity sales, representing 157% of the national average.
  • In 2021, 2030 Club utilities reported a potential peak demand reduction from demand response programs of 3.4% of peak demand, representing 131% of the national average.
  • In 2021, 2030 Club utilities reported distributed solar capacity (MW) of 5.4% of peak demand, representing 180% of the national average.

What’s Next? 

In 2024, SEPA plans to engage with 2030 Club and other, interested utilities to explore best practices, lessons learned, and remaining barriers to achieving carbon reduction goals. If you would like to learn more about our work and how to get involved please contact Trevor Gibson at [email protected].

See Something Missing?

While our research team makes every attempt at identifying these targets, it’s possible we’ve missed some – if you see something missing, please let us know at [email protected].

 

Related Resources

In addition to the 2030 Club, readers can learn more about the broader utility industry commitments to carbon reduction and the specific strategies utilities are employing to meet those commitments in the following SEPA resources:

SEPA’s Utility Carbon Reduction Tracker

A public resource that aggregates, summarizes and tracks industry commitments to carbon reduction. 

Utility Carbon Reduction Strategies

An industry brief that provides peer examples and key components utilities should consider as they develop carbon reduction strategies and action plans.

Headshot of Trevor Gibson

 

Project Lead
Trevor Gibson, Analyst, Research & Industry Strategy

If you would like to learn more about our work and how to get involved please reach out to Trevor Gibson at [email protected].