Energy conservation in electric utilities: An opportunity for restorative economics at SaskPower

Monica Curtis, Anshuman Khare

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Utilities can profit through direct financial and environmental benefits, and increased shareholder and customer value. Where demand side management (DSM) programs cost less per kilowatt-hour than it would cost to generate the same amount of electricity, energy conservation offers a viable supply option, reducing the need for large capital expenditures in generating capacity. It may also improve the efficiency of transmission and distribution assets and reduce operating and maintenance costs. To deliver DSM, utilities can employ awareness/information programs, energy management and technical and training services, financial incentives and tax measures, which may be implemented through voluntary programs, regulation and government expenditures, financial incentives or new business ventures. The lower discount rate in electric utilities, when compared to most customer businesses, makes utility DSM more cost effect than alternative business models. Using SaskPower, a vertically integrated electric utility in Saskatchewan, Canada as an example, this paper demonstrates how selling efficiency rather than power offers utilities both a supply option and a business opportunity. SaskPower can accrue financial and environmental benefit, while meeting and exceeding customer and stakeholder expectations. This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities energy conservation represents for electric utilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-402
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Electric utilities
  • Energy conservation
  • Kyoto Protocol
  • Restorative economics


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