Acadia Center Applauds Rhode Island as State Continues to Lead on Energy Efficiency

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island has taken first place in the utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policy category of the 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released Tuesday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a national nonpartisan organization. In energy efficiency overall, Rhode Island ranks fourth behind Massachusetts and California (tied for #1), and Vermont (#3).  This is the fourth year that Rhode Island has ranked in the top five states. Rhode Island’s Least Cost Procurement law is primarily responsible for the state’s continued leadership on energy efficiency. First implemented 9 years ago and extended for another 5 years
Learn More

Massachusetts and California Share Top Energy Efficiency Ranking

BOSTON — The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a national nonpartisan organization, released its 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard yesterday, with Massachusetts maintaining its #1 ranking for the sixth year in a row, but now sharing the podium with California.  Last year, only a half point separated the states’ rankings. In achieving its highest score to date, Massachusetts’ score increased a point due to adopting the most recent IECC 2015 and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 as part of the state building code.  These new standards will reduce the cost of energy for new homes and businesses in the state. Massachusetts
Learn More

Environmental Groups: Con Ed Rate Case Settlement Proposal’s Advancement of Energy Efficiency Programs Will Help Meet Clean Energy Standard Targets

ALBANY, NY – New energy efficiency programs in a Joint Settlement Proposal filed today on Consolidated Edison Company of New York’s electric rates for 2017 to 2019 will help meet the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and Clean Energy Standard renewables targets, according to environmental and energy efficiency groups participating in the proposed agreement with the utility, city, and state. The Joint Settlement Proposal would commit the utility to $99 million in new energy efficiency programs over the next three years, providing customer energy bill savings while reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other dangerous pollutants emitted by power plants. The Department of Public Service
Learn More

Report: State is cleaning air, saving money

Emily Lewis, a policy analyst at the Acadia Center, a regional non-profit focused on market-based, consumer-friendly programs, said the hospital has conserved a lot of electricity. “By reducing load, they’re reducing costs for everybody,” said Lewis, noting that the RGGI brought $160 million in proceeds to Connecticut through April, 2016 that was mostly invested in energy efficiency. Lewis estimated that about $245 million has been added to the Connecticut economy by the program. “You can see that this is a great return on investment with proceeds coming in being only $160 (million) and adding $245 (million in value so far,”
Learn More

Does spending more on energy efficiency cut rates?

“It’s counterintuitive that paying more will result in a savings overall,” said Ellen Hawes, a senior analyst of Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group in Boston. “But that’s what the data shows.” […] Hawes said that Acadia hasn’t seen this “rebound” effect to be significant. “There is only so much electricity you can use,” she said. Read the full article from the New Hampshire Business Review here.

Op-Ed: Energy-efficiency standard is an opportunity

One of New Hampshire’s economic engines is getting a boost with the start of a new energy-efficiency resource standard. Utilities, state agencies, businesses and advocates all came together this year to develop a new energy-efficiency framework that strengthens our state’s commitment to reducing energy costs and helps keep New Hampshire’s energy dollars from leaving the state economy. Each year, New Hampshire spends more than $6 billion on energy. Energy efficiency helps us recapture some of those dollars. This makes energy bills more manageable and frees up savings that can be used by New Hampshire’s families and business for other necessities
Learn More

Reforming Electricity Pricing Can Promote Electric Vehicles and Help Optimize the Electric Grid

Electric vehicles (EVs) provide multiple environmental and consumer benefits. Because they emit about 60% less greenhouse gas (GHG) than conventional vehicles, EVs are an important element in reaching state GHG reduction requirements. Plus, EVs have lower operating costs than conventional vehicles—even with today’s low gasoline prices; for example, in Connecticut an EV only costs about five cents per mile to operate compared to eight cents for a conventional vehicle. That’s a savings of over 80 cents per gallon-equivalent. Given that the largest source of GHGs in the Northeast is the transportation sector, states should be pushing for accelerated adoption of
Learn More

The Big Switch: As Renewables Boom, Sparks Fly Over Natural Gas

Peter Shattuck with the environmental advocacy group the Acadia Center echoes Ledoux’s call for deeper investments in renewables and energy efficiency, which have already created a meaningful dent in the region’s peak demand. The ISO New England, the regional grid operator, expects energy efficiency to “dampen” normal growth in peak demand, the periods of highest electricity usage, by more than 70 percent, from 1.1 percent to .4 percent from 2020 to 2025. “If we keep doing that [investments in energy efficiency and renewables], then the need for everything – for overbuilding our energy system to meet those peak demands –
Learn More

Md. Balks at Proposed Emission Cuts as RGGI States Ponder Future

“RGGI emissions through the first half of 2016 were the lowest they have been in the program’s history, and annual emissions have been below the RGGI cap level in each of the program’s seven years to date,” Acadia Center President Daniel Sosland said. “This shows that emissions are falling quickly and even more cost-effectively than expected and provides the foundation on which RGGI states can feel confident going forward to set more ambitious emission targets.” Acadia said low trading volume and stable prices could be “an inflection point” as the market awaits the results of the program review now underway.
Learn More

Low RGGI Auction Prices Suggest Need for Greater Ambition

BOSTON — The results of today’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction indicate that participating states have ample room to strengthen the program. Low emissions prices reflect the continuing decline of regional emissions and a growing oversupply of allowances. Without measures to significantly strengthen RGGI, the oversupply of allowances is likely to increase following recent commitments to foster zero-carbon energy. As detailed in our recent report, new commitments to clean energy in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut will reduce emissions by 45 million tons from 2020 to 2030, and New York has signaled support for the continued operation of existing nuclear facilities. In the latest auction all
Learn More