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.

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    Local Energy Investment and Infrastructure Modernization

    In its proposal for local energy investment and infrastructure modernization, Acadia Center presents concepts for legislation to modernize Massachusetts' distribution system, promote local energy resources as alternatives to infrastructure, cap residential fixed charges, and improve incentives through time-of-use rates. Local Energy Investment and Infrastructure Modernization was proposed with support of a broad-based coalition as HD 1497 (Rep. Benson) -- SD 1371 (Sen. Pacheco): https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/SD1371.

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    EnergyVision 2030 One-Page Preview

    Advances in energy technology and declining clean energy costs offer an historic opportunity to build a truly clean, low carbon, and consumer friendly energy future that is also more reliable and resilient. These changes are profound—and a large disconnect exists between how we currently see and interact with the energy system and what a low-emission future could look like. Acadia Center is preparing EnergyVision 2030 to help fill this information and “vision” gap by presenting a detailed picture of what the energy system would look like in 2030 on a pathway to a clean energy future in 2050. This picture will show audiences in New England and New York a changed but recognizable system and help make today’s policy and infrastructure decisions with much better context and thus comfort.

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    Sustainable Rate Design: Near-Term Consumer-Friendly Reforms for a Clean Energy Future

    Electricity bills for residential customers in many states often combine a low fixed monthly charge with flat rates for electricity consumed and delivered charged on a per-kilowatt hour basis. Traditionally, this structure has worked for utilities by providing a simple mechanism to recover enough revenue to build, maintain, and operate the grid. This existing rate design for residential customers has many positive features, but is a blunt and inefficient instrument in many respects. Changes in electricity rate design can help address a number of different issues. In these comments, Acadia Center proposes a following five-point plan to achieve the above described objectives and principles for residential customers.

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