From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Decoupling plus is an economics term for the decoupling of higher profits for energy producers from higher energy use. Through government regulation, the energy producer makes a higher profit when energy conservation targets are met. 
- Friedman, Thomas (October 21, 2008). "Bailout (and Buildup)". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
Second, Washington could impose a national requirement that every state move its utilities to a system of 'decoupling-plus.' This is the technical term for changing the way utilities make money — shifting them from getting paid for how much electricity or gas they get you to consume to getting paid for how much electricity or gas they get you to save.Several states have already moved down this path.
- "The elusive negawatt". The Economist. May 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
California, predictably, has gone further still. It first decoupled sales and profits for gas in 1978 and for electricity in 1982. Last year, it adopted a scheme called 'decoupling plus', which aims to make investments in energy efficiency more profitable for utilities than new power stations would be. Fees to finance energy-saving measures are added to each bill, and utilities spend the money in pursuit of targets set by the regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The commission then calculates the savings from these investments, compared with the cost of new power plants. If a utility achieves between 85% and 100% of the target, it is allowed to keep 9% of these savings. If it exceeds the regulator's target, it gets 12%, more than it would earn from building new infrastructure. Between 65% and 85% it does not earn any return at all, and below 65% it pays a fine for every kilowatt-hour by which it has fallen short.