As Feds Move Away From Climate Change, Maine and New England Consider Stronger CO2 Caps

  “All the evidence points to the fact that RGGI’s working well, it’s been a great success since its inception,” says Peter Shattuck, director of the Clean Energy Initiative at the Acadia Center, an an environmental policy group with offices in Maine and around the northeast. “[Since RGGI’s 2009 startup] carbon pollution is down 40 percent, electricity prices are down 3 percent, and at the same time [the participating] states’ economies have grown by 25 percent,” he says. … “This is an opportunity and a necessity to fill that void. And this is not uncharted territory for RGGI itself,” Shattuck
Read More

Why raiding Connecticut’s Energy Efficiency Fund is a bad idea

Op-ed by Bill Dornbos and Taren O’Connor in the CT Mirror. As we try to address our state budget crisis, one option proposed by the Senate Republicans should be off the table: sweeping $136 million over the next two fiscal years from the utility ratepayer-funded Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund to the state’s General Fund. The Energy Efficiency Fund generates immense economic value for Connecticut. It brings billions of dollars in electricity and natural gas bill savings to residents and businesses, drives our growing clean energy economy, helps families reduce the difficult burden of high energy costs, and supplies significant state
Read More

NH Regulators Order DER Study; Cut Net Metering Credits

One settlement proposal came from a coalition of utilities and consumer parties (UCC), including Eversource Energy, Liberty Utilities, Unitil Energy Systems, the state Office of Consumer Advocate, the New England Ratepayers Association, Consumer Energy Alliance and Standard Power of America. The other proposal was filed the same day by a coalition of distributed generation industry advocates and environmental organizations known as the Energy Future Coalition (EFC), which included the Acadia Center, The Alliance for Solar Choice, the Conservation Law Foundation and eight other organizations and companies (docket DE 16-576).  

Forum: We need to reduce energy costs, not tax ratepayers

Op-ed by Bill Dornbos and John Harrity in the New Haven Register. The Senate Republican proposal to raid ratepayer funds for energy efficiency and renewable energy would decimate successful programs that reduce energy costs for Connecticut businesses and families. But that’s not all. Their proposal would also stifle job growth in the state’s rapidly expanding energy efficiency and solar industries, and it’s about the worst thing Connecticut could do as the harmful impacts of climate change become more apparent every day. The Senate Republicans’ revised budget would not only divert $68 million annually from Connecticut’s award-winning energy efficiency programs into
Read More

Clean energy intrigue alleged

Peter Shattuck, the Massachusetts director of the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group, said the RFP should be changed. “As written, the RFP would favor large hydro over the wind and solar that we need to diversify the energy mix, drive in-region economic development, and achieve renewable power requirements,” he said. Read the full article from Commonwealth Magazine here.

Eversource facing big Beacon Hill challenge

Peter Shattuck, the director of the Massachusetts office of the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group, said he didn’t think Eversource would be successful in winning support for pipeline financing on Beacon Hill. “Last session the Senate voted unanimously to block the pipeline tariff, and with continuing grassroots opposition and another uneventful winter, legislation is unlikely,” he said. Read the full article from Commonwealth here. 

New farmland harvest – solar energy – creating political sparks

But asked whether he’d favor a moratorium, Miner laughed and took a long pause. “I don’t personally like moratoriums,” he said. “Is there a real hardship with some period of a moratorium so you could figure this out? I don’t know.” But Bill Dornbos, who heads the Connecticut office of the environmental advocacy group Acadia Center, does. “I’ve been contacted by utility-scale developers who are expressing great concern and nervousness about this because they heard the word moratorium,” he said. “They were worried we were going to go to a place like we were with the wind-power issue. “Legislation that
Read More

War, peace and innovation: Solar policy in 2016

In Massachusetts, a “Next Generation Incentive” would offer changes to the net metering credit that steps down as well as changes to the state’s Solar Renewable Energy Credit program and compensation “adders” designed to serve as price signals to guide growth. While the successor tariff includes “thoughtful elements such as long-term price guarantees to lower financing costs, land use standards, and incentives for pairing solar and storage,” it lacks protection for community solar programs, said Peter Shattuck, clean energy initiative director of Acadia Center. But protections seem to be lacking for community solar and for solar programs, he added. Read
Read More

Rules to cut carbon emissions in Mass. may increase them in New England, critics say

Since the initiative began in 2008, it has led to reduced emissions and lower energy prices, said Peter Shattuck, director of the clean energy initiative at the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group in Boston. “While there may be some offsetting increases in emissions beyond Massachusetts’ border, the Commonwealth has to set its own policy course,” Shattuck said. “If we’d been looking over [our] shoulder at what other states were doing, we might never have pursued health care reform, marriage equality, or the Global Warming Solutions Act itself.” Read the full article from the Boston Globe here.

Eversource seeks higher fees on customers with solar

Mark LeBel, a staff attorney at the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group, said Eversource’s demand charge isn’t fair to small consumers of electricity because there is no way for a customer to forecast the fee or manage it. He also said a utility’s costs are never driven by the peak demands of an individual, residential customer. Acadia recommends creating a distribution reliability charge based on the customer’s electricity consumption over a 12-month period, which would give the homeowner an incentive to reduce his or her use of electricity. LeBel – the coauthor of a report on demand charges entitled
Read More