Energy efficiency is a cornerstone of good state and regional energy policy. Investments in efficient equipment like lighting, appliances, and industrial motors reduce consumer energy bills and also reduce the need for expensive energy infrastructure like transmission lines and power plants. Acadia Center works to ensure that programs are effective, well-funded and reach a wide spectrum of customers with the deepest possible energy and cost savings for each participant.

Efficiency investments in leading states have deferred the need for nearly half a billion dollars in new energy infrastructure projects, produced $19.5 billion in economic benefits, cut electric use by 124,000 GWh, and avoided 51.3 million metric tons of CO2 pollution. Acadia Center’s macroeconomic studies show that efficiency investments create jobs, keep energy dollars at home, and help to grow local economies.

The challenge is to build from this strong foundation to reach for even greater savings and aid the transformation to a cleaner electric grid. These goals can be achieved by maximizing efficiency investments that are available and cost effective and focusing on ways efficiency can minimize infrastructure investments and integrate renewables. Acadia Center helped create the policies that have led states to top-in-the-nation investments in energy efficiency. Acadia Center pioneered the stakeholder council model as a means of ensuring consistent implementation, evaluation and diverse representation in the energy efficiency procurement process. Staff members currently hold appointed seats on these councils in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Acadia Center works with businesses, utilities, regulators and others to make sure that programs meet their goals and reach all customers.

  • Residential Fixed Charges in New York

    Fixed charges are the flat monthly fees that every customer pays, regardless of the amount of electricity they consume. Over the past several years, utilities have pushed for higher fixed charges because they guarantee a revenue stream. However, high fixed charges violate well-established regulatory principles, reduce incentives for energy efficiency and clean local generation, and result in higher bills for low-usage customers, who are disproportionately low income. New York has relatively high residential fixed charges compared to the rest of the U.S., and its charges are higher than those in neighboring states. High fixed charges are ultimately incompatible with the energy future envisioned by New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (“REV”) initiative and should be reduced significantly.

  • RGGI on the World Stage

    Following the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, cities, states and regions will increasingly need to lead on climate. The nine states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have demonstrated a will to forge ahead in the absence of federal action in the past, and their leadership will make a substantial impact on the global fight against climate change; together, these states have a GDP of $2.8 trillion, representing the world’s 6th largest economy. Fortunately, the list of states taking action on climate is growing.

  • Distributed System Implementation Plans in New York: Summary and Analysis

    States throughout the Northeast are considering how to transition from an energy grid that delivers power one-way, from fossil fuel power generators to customers, to a modern, dynamic, and flexible energy system that is centered around our homes and businesses. Massachusetts utilities have presented plans for updating the electric grid in their Grid Modernization Plans, which are currently under consideration at the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Utilities. Rhode Island’s Power Sector Transformation Initiative is currently seeking feedback on Distribution System Planning for a modern grid. In response to New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision, the state’s electric utilities have developed Distribution System Implementation Plans. Acadia Center has analyzed and summarized the New York experience here.

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