Federal rollbacks require states to lead the transition to a clean energy economy

BOSTON — Today’s announcement from the Trump Administration rolling back carbon pollution standards for power plants and weakening consideration of the societal costs of carbon pollution from the regulatory review process is the latest in a series of ill-informed actions that will damage the nation’s need to build a modern, less polluting and more consumer-friendly economic future. These actions by the Trump Administration underscore that Northeast states must act to protect existing climate policies and step up their commitments to address the threat of climate change. “The Trump Administration is turning the nation’s back on the historic opportunity to build
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New Analysis Shows Outdated Rules Causing Utilities to Pursue High Priced Options; Eversource Rate Case More of the Same

BOSTON — New analysis from Acadia Center demonstrates that outdated financial incentives are driving expenditures on expensive and unnecessary utility infrastructure and inhibiting clean energy in the Northeast. Analysis of recent electric transmission and gas pipeline expansions demonstrates that utilities earn higher returns on these traditional expenditures than on local clean energy alternatives. The need to reform outdated incentives and change utility planning has come to stark relief in a rate case proposal from one of the region’s largest utilities. In it, Eversource proposes unprecedented returns on expenditures and electricity rates that inhibit clean energy while causing consumers to pay more
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Massachusetts Legislature Passes Bill to Advance Electric Vehicles

BOSTON – Last night, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill to support electric vehicles (EVs), helping to advance the Commonwealth’s goals of reducing climate pollution and promoting clean energy. Daniel Sosland, President of Acadia Center, said, “Vehicle electrification and moving away from transportation that runs on dirty oil is crucial to attaining an energy future that offers consumers cleaner choices. Acadia Center is very pleased that the Massachusetts legislature has moved this bill forward and would like to thank leadership in the House and Senate as well as the original bill sponsors who have worked so hard to get this done.”
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RI Public Utilities Commission Votes for Cost-Saving Energy Efficiency Plan

PROVIDENCE, RI – On December 20, 2016 the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the 2017 Energy Efficiency and System Reliability Plans for Rhode Island in order to help save consumers money on their utility bills and boost Rhode Island’s economy. This plan was developed collaboratively by key stakeholders representing a wide range of consumer interests, including the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, the Office of Energy Resources, the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, National Grid, Acadia Center, People’s Power and Light, and Emerald Cities Rhode Island. In 2006, Rhode Island adopted a strategic and economic approach
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Connecticut Rules in Favor of Consumers and Clean Energy in Electric Rate Case

Hartford, Conn.– Acadia Center applauds the announcement today by the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) of its decision to dramatically lower the fixed charge for United Illuminating’s residential customers from $17.25 to $9.64. This 45% reduction represents a crucial step in implementing a new law enacted by the legislature last year to limit fixed charges, which customers pay monthly regardless of how much energy they use. Bill Dornbos, Director of Acadia Center’s Connecticut Office, said, “Consumers everywhere prefer choice and control, and this lower monthly fixed charge will give customers substantially more control over their electric bills. The new rate
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RGGI Auction Prices Reflect Need for Program Reforms

BOSTON — Price declines in the latest Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction demonstrate the need to address an oversupply of allowances caused by faster-than-anticipated emissions declines. In the latest auction, all 14,791,315 available allowances were sold at a clearing price of $3.55, generating $52,509,168 in revenue for reinvestment. This brings the program’s total revenue to $2.64 billion-most of which has been used to fund energy efficiency and other consumer benefit programs. The Auction 34 clearing price is 22% lower than the previous auction and 53% lower than the clearing price from one year ago. This marks the lowest auction
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States Considering Future of Northeast Climate Program

BOSTON — Nine states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will be hosting a webinar today to discuss the future of the eight-year cooperative effort to reduce power plant carbon pollution. Materials that will be discussed during the webinar indicate that states will take the important step of establishing emissions limits through 2030, but the ambition and scope of new rules remains unresolved. “RGGI’s success shows that states can and should lead on climate,” said Acadia Center President Daniel Sosland. Acadia Center’s July 2016 report Measuring Success shows that states in RGGI have experienced 3.6% more economic growth than states
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On Energy Efficiency Day, Acadia Center Celebrates New England’s Success

BOSTON – On this day, the first nationwide Energy Efficiency Day, Acadia Center commends New England its recent recognition for a long history of accomplishments in energy efficiency. New England states are among the most highly ranked in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released last week, and recent action at the policy level promises to increase the region’s contribution to national energy efficiency savings. “New England has become a leader in energy efficiency by implementing strong policies that work for consumers and strengthen the economy while helping to meet climate goals,” said
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Report Finds DEEP’s “Lead by Example” Energy Efficiency Program for State Buildings Not on Track to Meet Mandatory Energy Savings Target

Hartford, CT — Today Acadia Center released a report showing that Connecticut’s “Lead by Example” (LBE) energy efficiency program does not appear to be on track to reach its mandatory goal of a 20% reduction in energy use in state buildings by 2018. The General Assembly established the LBE program in 2011 to reduce costly energy waste in state buildings, lower the state’s significant operating expense for energy use, and make the state a model for energy efficiency and sustainability. The report finds that mandatory annual reporting for the LBE plan originally filed in 2012 has not been submitted by
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Massachusetts DPU Protects Clean Energy and Consumer Control in Electricity Rate Case Ruling

BOSTON — Friday afternoon, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued a decision in the National Grid electricity rate case, D.P.U. 15-155. In the decision, the DPU denied a number of utility proposals that would have reduced customer control of energy bills, discouraged investment in energy efficiency, arbitrarily penalized clean local energy production, and restricted access to community distributed generation. Further information on these proposals may be found here. Peter Shattuck, Acadia Center’s Massachusetts Director, said, “We are encouraged that the DPU rejected National Grid’s rate design proposals that would have unfairly impacted residential ratepayers and set back our
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