Massachusetts DPU Sets Highest Energy Savings Goals in the Nation

Boston, MA– On Thursday, the Massachusetts DPU approved the 2016-2018 Energy Efficiency Investment Plans, setting the course for the next chapter of the award-winning MassSave energy efficiency programs. The Plans feature goals and strategies for saving energy and reducing bills for Massachusetts homes and businesses. The programs will provide an estimated $8 billion in economic benefits and energy savings over the three year period – on top of $12.5 billion in benefits that the programs have delivered since 2008. The plans also set the highest savings goals in the nation – annual reductions of 2.93% of electric retail sales and
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The Supreme Court Gives a Big Win to Energy Conservation and the Environment

Good news for everyone who likes clean energy, lower electric prices, and more local control of energy sources!  A US Supreme Court decision on Monday upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s  Order 745, concluding that wholesale demand response programs are within FERC’s jurisdiction.  In a 6-2 decision, the Court confirmed that grid operators can do more to promote cleaner alternatives to simply building more power plants – saving consumers money, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and preventing blackouts. A bit of background:  in 2011, the FERC put out an order to promote “demand response,” which pays big energy users and groups
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National Grid Backs Down on New Fees

“The Conservation Law Foundation, Acadia Center, the New England Clean Energy Council and the Narragansett Bay Commission all opposed or expressed concern about the proposed fees. They filed to intervene in a proposed docket with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers. National Grid told ecoRI News that it withdrew the proposed fees Jan. 19 after considering recommendation from the intervenors and the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers…”

Update: National Grid Pulls Rate Reform Proposal in Rhode Island

In a sudden turn of events, last week National Grid submitted an unopposed motion to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to withdraw its distribution rate reform proposal. The utility had been required by legislation to identify potential rate reforms in light of the increasing amount of distributed generation, like solar photovoltaics (PV), that will be connected to the grid. In July 2015, National Grid submitted a proposal – summarized here – that included a tiered customer charge for residential and small commercial and industrial customers and an access fee for standalone distributed generation. The proposal was roundly rejected by
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What do we want? Rate Reform! When do we want it? Not in this docket: Distribution Rate Reform in Rhode Island

Over a dozen parties, including Acadia Center, have intervened in a proceeding currently before the Rhode Island Public Utility Commission (Docket No. 4568). The issue at hand is a new electric rate structure proposed by National Grid. Under legislation passed in 2014, National Grid was required to identify potential rate reforms in light of the increasing amount of distributed generation, like solar photovoltaics (PV), that will be connected to the grid. The scope of National Grid’s proposal was limited by the legislation to only one component of our electricity bills – distribution rates – and the utility could not propose
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Summary of National Grid’s Distribution Rate Reform Proposal in Rhode Island

Legislation passed in 2014 required the Public Utility Commission to open a docket by July 1, 2015 to consider rate design and distribution cost allocation in light of the increasing amount of distributed generation, like solar photovoltaics (PV),that will be connected to the grid. Only reforms to distribution rates are being considered and National Grid was required to file a revenue-neutral proposal, meaning they could not propose a rate design that requires new investment in, for example, advanced metering. National Grid submitted a proposal that includes: 1) a tiered customer charge for residential and small commercial and industrial (C&I) customers;
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Energize Connecticut announces eesmarts statewide student contest

…“Over the past 11 years, we have encouraged students across the state to demonstrate their understanding of smart energy with creativity and to develop sustainable solutions that help our environment,” said Bill Dornbos, chairperson of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board and also with the Acadia Center. “We are excited to be able to expand the contest this year to include college students”…

Community Energy Proving Successful in Boothbay

A few hundred hours a year during the hottest afternoons in the summer months, when air conditioning is operating at full blast, Maine’s Boothbay peninsula comes close to critically straining the area’s electricity transmission lines. One option to avoid potential power outages was an $18 million upgrade of existing transmission lines so they could handle peak demand. But several years ago the Maine Public Utilities Commission instead approved an innovative pilot project that flips the conventional transmission solution around: meeting demand by generating power and improving energy efficiency right in Boothbay. The Boothbay Smart Grid Reliability Project is now fully
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