Protect Consumers and Savings –Don’t Raise Fixed Charges

At legislatures and regulatory bodies across the country a debate rages on over consumers’ control of their electricity bills. The debate centers on fixed charges, a monthly fee to obtain access to electricity that applies regardless of how much electricity a consumer actually uses. Utilities are in favor of increasing fixed charges because it would increase certainty: the utility knows that it will collect a certain amount of revenue from all of its customers each month, regardless of the amount of electricity consumed. Consumers and their advocacy allies, on the other hand, are pushing to prevent these increases because they
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Energy Forum Highlights Programs that Help Reduce Demand

…The program, known as DemandLink, was highlighted Friday at a forum on clean energy that was hosted by Acadia Center, a regional environmental group with expertise in energy issues, and the Rhode Island Foundation. DemandLink is just the type of initiative that Acadia Center wants to see more of as part of a transformation of the New England power system that’s based on expanding energy efficiency, integrating more renewables and ultimately reducing the fossil fuel emissions that are driving climate change…

As I See it; Give Solar a Chance to Shine

The current stalemate around solar caps is preventing those who need it most from finding relief on their utility bills. Is holding out for a long-term solar policy–worth the cost of blocking projects that serve renters, low-income housing, and municipalities? Others are taking action to craft a long-term vision, for example, one policy framework by the Acadia Center has earned the endorsement of over 50 community, labor and environmental groups. The long-term debate aside, we need to act now to remove barriers to solar and help Massachusetts thrive.

Relationship Counseling with Your Utility is Better than Breaking Up

Frustration with utilities combined with declining costs of solar and energy storage has raised the possibility that customers will start divorcing from the grid. Cutting the cord and going “off-grid” has technically been possible for decades, but as costs fall, the idea is starting to gain some real traction. SolarCity, a solar power provider, plans to lease solar photovoltaic (PV) plus storage systems in Hawaii, where high power prices, abundant sunshine and frustration with the local utility has made grid divorce alluring. While the thought of ending your relationship with a utility may be satisfying, it would undermine our capacity
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Envisioning the Energy Future for RI: Making the System Work for Consumers and the Environment

As consumers become more aware of the costs and impacts of energy use on health and the environment, we’re looking for ways to re-envision the energy system. With emerging technologies and approaches, a new system is possible. Acadia Center invites you to a discussion, hosted by the Rhode Island Foundation, which will lay out a strategic plan to achieve a new system that meets our energy needs and supports a fair, healthy economy and environment. Acadia Center staff will tell the story of how we can get there. The presentation will draw on the user-friendly visuals, recommendations and original research
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Support a Clean Energy Future: Event Recap

Acadia Center is grateful to our friends and colleagues who made it out to Boston’s District Hall on a rainy Monday night to share in conversation about realistic pathways to a brighter, clean energy future. Acadia Center provided updates on efforts to re-energize state leadership to address climate change, reduce emissions and advance clean energy. Staff experts were on-hand to answer questions and engage in discussion on key issues such as extending MA’s leadership on energy efficiency; increasing incentives and infrastructure for electric vehicles; harnessing solar power and other clean energy resources; and, leveraging RGGI and carbon markets. Leslie Malone,
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Acadia Center: SouthCoast poised for new energy future

SouthCoast is facing a choice between its existing energy infrastructure made up of power stations and miles of wire or a different energy future, officials at the region’s environmental policy nonprofit say. With the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset scheduled to go offline and with a terminal to build off-shore wind projects slated for New Bedford, “the SouthCoast is facing a huge transition point,” said Abigail Anthony, Acadia Center director in Rhode Island.

Energy Rules Need to Change

Our energy system is evolving and will look very different in years to come from what we have today.  Electricity produced by solar, wind, and other renewable technologies will power our cars and provide efficient heating.  Homeowners and businesses will anchor an integrated grid with power flowing between consumers and among smart appliances and batteries within energy-sipping buildings. The transition is underway.  In 2013 more renewables came online than coal, oil, and natural gas generation combined, and financial analysts think there is no going back.

Acadia Center’s May Newsletter

A look at Acadia Center’s work this May. This newsletter includes information about the Next Generation Solar Policy Framework that Acadia Center developed with 52 other organizations, an update on fixed charges in Connecticut, and details about our upcoming Rhode Island event.