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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.

Distribution Reliability Charge: Transitioning to Sustainable Rate Design

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 -- these comments address address two issues in particular and reforms that could facilitate a transition to more sustainable rate design.

MA ZEV Coalition Letter to Chair of MA House Ways and Means Committee

This letter was sent to the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee by 21 diverse organizations. It calls on the committee to favorably report H.4282, An Act promoting electric vehicle adoption, out of the committee. The letter also recommends several amendments to the bill that would reflect language from the ZEV-related provisions that passed the Senate in S.2400, An Act to promote energy diversity, but were dropped during conference committee negotiations.

Lessons from New England: Energy Efficiency Best Practices

The tables in this report present details on a range of practices in the New England states that can be used to inform efforts in other jurisdictions. The report was prepared for the New York Clean Energy Advisory Council.

Letter to the Connecticut Governor’s Council on Climate Change

This letter was submitted by Acadia Center to the Governor's Council on Climate Change (GC3). With greenhouse gas emissions increasing since 2012, Connecticut must act quickly to meet its mandatory 2020 emissions cap. Acadia Center proposes three short-term mitigation strategies that Connecticut could pursue almost immediately to reverse the current emissions trend: electrification of building heating and vehicles, increased solar PV deployment, and expanded energy efficiency.

Coalition Letter to CT’s Public Utilities Reglatory Authority on Residential Fixed Charges

In the current United Illuminating (UI) rate case, sixteen national and regional organizations urge Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to reduce the fixed charge, or monthly basic service charge, currently paid by residential customers of UI. The supporting organizations represent a diverse coalition, including consumer groups protecting low income and vulnerable ratepayers, solar, storage, and energy efficiency businesses, and public interest organizations fighting for cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Status of Connecticut’s “Lead by Example” Energy Efficiency Program for State Buildings

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. This report finds that mandatory annual reporting for the LBE plan originally filed in 2012 has not been submitted by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), as required by law. This apparent failure to report severely hampers any attempt to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the LBE program’s performance.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Status Report Part II: Achieving Climate Commitments

Since the initial development of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), participating states have been climate leaders time and time again. Building on this legacy, RGGI states must now determine the program’s next chapter. As the 2016 RGGI Program Review commences, this report describes the reforms RGGI states should make to achieve both state and federal climate requirements while continuing to generate benefits for the region.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Status Report Part I: Measuring Success

Part I of the RGGI Status Report focuses on key trends since RGGI’s launch, including electric sector drivers, economic impacts, and the status of the RGGI market. The report demonstrates RGGI’s success in reducing emissions, fostering a clean energy transition, and supporting regional economic growth. Part II of this report will explain how reforms considered in the 2016 Program Review can solidify RGGI’s role in achieving state-level climate commitments and encourage development of effective carbon policy under EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Technical Summary of Proposals Regarding Net Metering in New York

This document summarizes the proposals and key concepts for valuing distributed energy resources (DER) submitted by twenty-five parties and groups of parties in Case 15-E-0751, initiated by the New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC). In April 2014, the NY PSC announced the beginning of a set of ambitious regulatory proceedings called Reforming the Energy Vision (“REV”) to comprehensively examine the State’s energy policies and regulatory frameworks. Six policy objectives were set for this proceeding: enhanced customer knowledge and tools that will support effective management of their total energy bill; market animation and leverage of ratepayer contributions; system wide efficiency; fuel and resource diversity; system reliability and resiliency; and reduction of carbon emissions. Case 15-E-0751 was initiated to develop an “interim methodology” for valuing DER through electricity rates as well as a longer term process for establishing a full value of DER.

New from Acadia Center
EnergyVision 2030 Strengthening RGGI