Acadia Center’s January Newsletter

A look at Acadia Center’s work in January. This newsletter features updates on a rate reform proposal in Rhode Island, nation-leading energy efficiency goals in Massachusetts, and more.

Rhode Island bank to shell out $25M in efficiency financing

…Rhode Island is ranked fourth nationwide on energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy. And the year before, the state was tied for first with Massachusetts. Rhode Island’s strength in efficiency can largely be tied back to its legislature, according to Acadia Center…

After Supreme Court’s Stay of the Clean Power Plan, RGGI Even More Crucial to New England’s Future

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court took the unusual step of delaying implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan until legal challenges to the regulation are completed – a decision that effectively stops the regulation in its tracks until 2017 or later.  A centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan (CPP) was designed to lower carbon emissions from U.S. power plants to 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.  In New England, compliance with the CPP was expected to come primarily through the states’ involvement in and strengthening of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
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RGGI emissions fall nearly 4% y/y in 2015 as allowance prices soften

…The fall in emissions is not a surprise, according to Jordan Stutt of think tank Acadia Center. “We had a pretty mild start to the winter in the last three months of the year… the year-end total shows a decline in line with the trend that we’ve seen since RGGI began,” he said. The drop in emissions, combined with the release of 10 million RGGI allowances from the scheme’s Cost Containment Reserve (CCR) last year, has added to the oversupply of allowances in the market, Stutt noted…

Acadia Center’s Year in Review

2015 was a good year for Acadia Center. New York Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and MarketWatch included us in select 2015 lists of top charities making a difference and Charity Navigator once again included us on its list of “Top 10 Charities Worth Watching.” Our staff continued to provide tangible alternatives to an energy system based on fossil fuels and was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and the Hartford Courant among other media outlets as experts in our field. In case you missed them, here are some more Acadia Center highlights from 2015: Expanding
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RGGI urged to consider deeper emissions cuts from 2020

…RGGI’s operators RGGI, Inc. last month said Washington’s draft proposal would be evaluated, but warned that it raised “substantive issues.” But Peter Shattuck of the Acadia Center asserted that integration of markets is a key goal.“Larger markets are more effective,” he said. “That’s been one of the benefits of RGGI and we’d like to see the whole country get there…”

Beautiful LED Lighting Displays Show that Energy Efficiency is about Aesthetics Too

…“Massachusetts’ energy efficiency programs are delivering on their promise to create large energy savings for consumers, and move the Commonwealth toward a clean, affordable and secure energy future,” said Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center president. “Efficiency is the best near-term energy strategy for reducing Massachusetts’ residents’ energy bills. Investing in energy efficiency produces immediate bill savings that persist for years to come…”

Shared Solar Program in Connecticut Stalled Over Who Pays for What

…“The pace of all this is concerning,” said Bill Dornbos, Connecticut director and senior attorney for Acadia Center, a regional environmental advocacy group that has fought for shared solar throughout the northeast. “DEEP probably would have been better off seeking some simple amendments from the General Assembly in this upcoming legislative session…”