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Energy efficiency programs continue to be the lowest-cost resource for utilities. Efficiency programs cost around 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared with 7 cents and more for new generation, the organization said — meaning investments in energy efficiency continue to be an effective way to keep rates down for customers.The numbers came out of the ACEEE report "Leaders of the Pack: Utility Energy Efficiency Programs Innovate, Evolve, and Expand," released on June 20. The organization conducted similar reviews in 2003 and 2008 to publicize effective utility energy efficiency programs.