Acadia Center Winter Newsletter

A look at Acadia Center’s work in the first three months of the year. The newsletter includes information about our new publication UtilityVision,which presents a comprehensive regulatory framework for a modern energy system, and updates on initiatives we’re involved with such as RGGI and energy efficiency programs.

What is the Place of Fuel Cell Vehicles in a Clean Energy Future?

In the coming year, vehicles powered by fuel cells are expected to come to market in the United States, first in California and subsequently in other regions. Fuel cells are a technology that uses hydrogen to generate electricity. A fuel cell vehicle (FCV) uses this electricity to run the motor. FCVs have environmental benefits because they emit no local pollutants and the only direct by-product is water. However, the production of hydrogen can result in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These emissions must be evaluated to understand how compatible they are with New England’s short-term and long-term GHG reduction targets (80%
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Energy Waste Worries American Businesses

It used to be pretty easy to predict America’s attitude about energy waste. The billboards everywhere that blare gasoline prices left us buoyed or dismayed about our energy prospects. And we consumed or conserved accordingly. But something has changed in the American psyche, particularly among businesses. Even though oil and natural gas prices are low, Americans are are trying to save energy.

Connecticut Reaches $1B in Energy Savings

…The state of Connecticut is expected to save consumers nearly $1 billion as a result of its 2014 investments in energy efficiency, according to the Acadia Center. The savings, from efficiency installations for natural gas and electricity, will accumulate over the life of the measures.

New Hampshire Needs RGGI for Economic & Energy Efficiency Benefits

Proven Benefits of RGGI in NH. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a proven success for New Hampshire (NH), both as an engine of economic growth and a tool for reducing harmful emissions from the power sector.  Since the program began in 2009, electricity prices have decreased while RGGI has delivered significant economic benefits, clean energy investments and health improvements in NH and the RGGI region as a whole.  These benefits are due in large part to the reinvestment of RGGI auction revenue in energy efficiency and clean energy projects. Since 2009, RGGI states cut per-capita GHG pollution 2.7
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Connecticut’s Electric Vehicle Push

Transportation produces more than a quarter of U.S. carbon pollution, so the state of Connecticut is taking action to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles on its roads. It’s part of a multi-state effort to get 3.3 million zero emission vehicles on the road by the year 2025. Range anxiety — the fear of running out of power — is one of the most common reasons consumers decide not to buy an electric vehicle. To reduce this anxiety, Connecticut has added more than 270 charging stations at 150 locations across the state. But another hurdle facing electric vehicles is their
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Testimony offered on Connecticut’s proposed energy legislation

…One of the bills garnering interest was House Bill 7009, which is legislation designed to encourage more Connecticut residents to purchase electric vehicles. The bill calls for offering incentives for electric car drivers such as free parking in metered spots and creating time of day rates for the vehicles’ charging stations to encourage powering up when statewide demand for electricity is lower. Bill Dornbos, senior attorney and Connecticut director at Acadia Center, a New England environmental group, said the bill gives all zero-emission vehicles, not just electric cars, “the practical policy boost they need to make it easier for consumers
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Why We Need to Cap Fixed Charges in Connecticut: To Protect Consumers and Support Energy Efficiency & Local Clean Power

Vision To advance a clean energy future, we need a modern power grid with full consumer control over energy generation, consumption, and costs. This modern power grid should enable consumers to make beneficial energy decisions. This can mean many things:  installing rooftop solar; participating in demand response; weatherizing and investing in high-efficiency appliances; comparing apartments based on energy cost data; or, choosing to make no changes at all. Yet, Connecticut utilities continue to increase already high fixed charges, which hurt consumers by increasing the amount that must be paid regardless of energy use and, in so doing, interfering with the
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Connecticut Energy Efficiency Programs Empowering and Benefiting Consumers

Connecticut’s 2014 energy efficiency programs for natural gas and electricity will save consumers nearly $1 billion. The official savings were released recently, and the benefits will be accumulated over the lifetime of the 2014 investments. “Energy efficiency programs are empowering Connecticut consumers to control their energy use and costs,” said Daniel L. Sosland, Acadia Center President. “The 2014 results show the potential for efficiency as a first resource to meet the state’s energy needs.” “One of the best benefits of these programs is that they help consumers with the challenge of high winter energy costs,” said William E. Dornbos, Senior
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Highlights: Envisioning Our Energy Future Forum

Acadia Center held a forum on Envisioning Our Energy Future in Boston on February 24th. The event was intended to help foster thought-leadership in the energy space, bringing together stakeholders and experts for a discussion of timely topics, with three panels and a lunch speaker. A highlight of the day was the keynote presentation by Klaus Vesløv, developer of a smart grid pilot program on the Danish island of Bornholm, the first pilot in the EU to focus on how customer behavior impacts grid modernization efforts. The ECOGRID pilot is one of the foundations for fulfilling the Bornholm strategy of
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