PORTFOLIO CASE STUDY: CLEAResult
CASE STUDY: CLEAResult
CLEAResult is the largest third-party energy efficiency program administrator in the U.S. and Canada, providing solutions to over 275 utilities.
ENERGY: Meeting energy demand at the lowest cost and emissions
Every megawatt of power saved through efficiency avoids that power having to be produced in the first place. For utilities, that means satisfying growing demand for energy does not necessarily require building expensive, controversial and carbon-intensive centralized power plants. Instead, utilities can turn to energy efficiency or demand response programs, which are supported by public utility commissions and state administrations, as a cost-effective, environmentally preferable way to meet demand.
CLEAResult is helping residential, commercial and industrial utility customers save energy, cut their energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment. The company’s business model is a clear fit for The Rise Fund: The more energy savings CLEAResult delivers for its utility clients and their customers, the better the business performs and the greater the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy efficiency and demand response as a resource
Energy efficiency is the first critical pillar of deep decarbonization, and it remains one of the most economic ways of meeting energy demand. Studies estimate that half of the CO2 reductions in the U.S. power sector since 2005 resulted from reducing power demand and that half of the reductions needed by 2050 will also be achieved through energy efficiency.
Beyond improving efficiency, demand response programs help utilities better manage and optimize their systems, meaning they can avoid building new power plants that only get used during the highest demand days of the year. These programs also enable utilities to better use renewable energy by providing the flexibility to respond to and leverage solar and wind power when it is available. The end result is that utilities can not only reduce their energy demand but also tailor their energy supply so that more power is delivered by lower carbon and lower cost alternatives.
CLEAResult helped avoid 4.6 million tons of CO2 in 2019, equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road through the programs it designed and delivered for its clients.
Longer-term and broader impacts
While the one-year impact metrics of CLEAResult’s programs are significant, they only tell part of the story. The current way of measuring impact only accounts for the first year of savings from energy efficiency measures, but in most cases, whether it is LED light bulbs or more efficient HVAC systems, these measures deliver savings over many years.
The Rise Fund is working with CLEAResult and Y Analytics to better quantify the total impact delivered by these measures, which we estimate at nearly 4x the single-year-only savings. We are also looking for ways to quantify this impact as CLEAResult helps its utility clients transition to a more dynamic future energy system that incorporates an increasing amount of renewables and electric vehicles.
And the benefits of CLEAResult’s programs also extend beyond the environment. For example, since The Rise Fund’s investment in CLEAResult, the company has helped low- and middle-income families save over $35 million on their energy bills.
As a mission-driven business, CLEAResult understands that the better the business does, the bigger its positive environmental impact—which directly aligns with The Rise Fund’s philosophy.
By the Numbers:
4.6 million – Tons of CO2—equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road — avoided through CLEAResult programs in 2019*
5.8 million – kWh of energy—enough to power 530,000 U.S. households—saved by CLEAResult programs in 2019*
13x – Potential impact multiplier based on weighted average program measure life
7 million – Metric tons of CO2 avoided since The Rise Fund invested in CLEAResult*
*Methodology captures just one year of efficiency savings