Energy Efficiency Program Plan Approved for RI

PROVIDENCE – The state Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency Program Plan for Rhode Island on Thursday.

The three-year plan features goals and strategies for saving energy and reducing bills to allow Rhode Island to provide low-cost, clean energy to homes and businesses.

RI’s 2015-17 Energy Efficiency Plan to Save Energy and Benefit Consumers

PROVIDENCE, RI – On October 30, 2014, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency Program Plan for the Rhode Island. The plan features goals and strategies for saving energy and reducing bills that will allow Rhode Island to provide low-cost, clean energy to homes and businesses. The three-year energy efficiency plan was developed collaboratively by key stakeholders representing a wide range of consumer and environmental interests, including Acadia Center,** the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, the Office of Energy Resources, The Energy Council of Rhode Island, Consumers’ Energy Alliance, and National Grid.

“Energy efficiency is a powerful tool to help chart Rhode Island’s pathway to a sustainable economy and clean energy future,” said Acadia Center President Dan Sosland.

Last week the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy announced that Rhode Island earned a 3rd place ranking in the annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The Scorecard ranks states in six energy saving categories; in the category for utility energy efficiency programs and policies, Rhode Island tied for 1st with Massachusetts.

“The RI PUC’s approval of the plan is a big win for Rhode Island’s environment, economy, and energy consumers, because it means that energy dollars will go toward cost-effective programs and help customers save, instead of being sent out of state to pay for expensive and polluting energy supply,” said Acadia Center Rhode Island Director Abigail Anthony. Dr. Anthony represents environmental interests on the state’s Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC), which provides independent input and oversight to National Grid’s electric and natural gas efficiency programs.

Energy efficiency is a proven strategy for boosting Rhode Island’s economy and saving consumers money. Between 2012 and 2014, Rhode Islanders’ investments in energy efficiency met 6,200 gigawatt hours of electric demand at a cost of approximately 4 cents per kilowatt hour instead of more than 8 cents per kWh if that demand had to be met through energy purchases. This is equal to $320 million in direct savings to Rhode Island consumers. Since 2008, Rhode Island has invested about $558 million in cost-effective energy efficiency and consumers have realized $1.9 billion in benefits.

By investing in as much low-cost energy efficiency as possible, RI is reducing the cost of doing business in the state and leaving consumers with more money in their pockets. Such consumer savings are often spent right in RI—where they can support our local markets, our students, our education and health facilities—while payments to fossil fuel providers head immediately out of state. Every dollar invested in cost-effective energy efficiency boosts the RI Gross State Product an estimated $3.60 and every $1 million invested in energy efficiency generates almost 40 job years of employment. If fully implemented, the 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency Procurement Plan will boost Rhode Island’s economy by $1.27 billion and create over 11,000 job-years economy-wide.

The Division of Public Utilities commissioned Synapse Energy Economics to analyze what RI’s energy efficiency investment is really doing to our electric bills. The analysis finds that a homeowner who gets a home energy assessment can save approximately 12% on her electric bill by replacing inefficient lighting and appliances, and upgrading home insulation and weatherization. Factor in savings on natural gas or fuel oil use and total spending on energy is even lower. Small business customers can save as much as 37% to 47% by installing high efficiency equipment and making recommended retrofits. Importantly, even customers who do nothing to their own houses or offices benefit from their neighbors’ energy efficiency actions. Reducing the state’s demand for power helps lower the costs of the whole energy system, and those savings are passed on to all electric consumers. The Division’s study finds that these bill savings significantly outweigh the amount-an average of just over 1%– that all consumers pay to finance low cost, low risk energy efficiency investments.

“By approving the 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency Procurement Plan, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commissions took another big step to ensure that RI continues its nation-leading levels of energy savings. Energy efficiency lowers the cost of doing business in Rhode Island and puts money back in the wallets of all consumers,” said Sosland.

For more on the 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency Procurement Plan for Rhode Island, see: http://www.ripuc.ri.gov/eventsactions/docket/4443page.html

**ENE is now Acadia Center. To more accurately reflect the organization’s geographic scope and evolving approach, we are excited to announce the adoption of a new name, logo and website (http://www.acadiacenter.staging.wpengine.com). Our team, goals and commitment to results have not changed, and we look forward to continuing our work and partnership with you and all of our networks.

Acadia Center is a non-profit, research and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center is at the forefront of efforts to build clean, low carbon and consumer friendly economies. Acadia Center provides accurate and reliable information, and offers a real-world and comprehensive approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration

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CONTACT:
Emily Avery-Miller, Dir. External Relations, Acadia Center**
(617) 742-0054×100, eavery-miller@acadiacenter.org

Abigail Anthony, Dir. Rhode Island Office, Acadia Center**
(401) 276-0600, aanthony@acadiacenter.org

ENE is Now Acadia Center

A Fresh New Look Ushers in New Era for Environment Northeast (ENE) Now Acadia Center

Rebrand Builds on Over a Decade of Research and Advocacy Centered on Advancing the Clean Energy Future

Boston, October 30, 2014 – Over the past 15 years, Environment Northeast (ENE) has built a successful track record of providing solutions to advance state and regional efforts to promote effective clean energy and climate policy. To more accurately reflect its geographic scope and evolving approach, ENE announced the adoption of a new name, Acadia Center, which is reflected in its new website and visual identity.

Acadia Center’s emphasis on well-researched, information-focused solutions and its attention to economic and consumer benefits, has been instrumental in helping to shape a long-term vision of reform in the Northeast and beyond to create a cleaner, lower-cost energy future. The organization works across key sectors of the economy to empower consumers to lower their greenhouse gas emissions through tangible actions, and improve the economic productivity and livability of communities through effective solutions.

“Acadia Center has a fresh look, but its outlook and strategic direction build on the reputation for credible information and effective results we’ve developed for over a decade,” says Daniel Sosland, president of Acadia Center. “The new name and website will help Acadia Center extend its reach to advocates, consumers, policy leaders and stakeholders, who now will have better access to original research, policy analysis, and publications. With this stronger presence and new resources, Acadia Center will redouble its successful approaches to advance the clean energy future.”

“Acadia Center will continue to do what it does best – promote positive solutions to complex problems, and use trustworthy analysis and skilled advocacy to reframe entrenched debates and achieve greater support for important reforms,” said Elizabeth Carroll, chair of Acadia Center’s Board of Directors.

To support its mission, Acadia Center is pursuing reforms in multiple sectors of the economy:

  • EnergyVision targets four key sectors that will work simultaneously to achieve a clean-energy future.
  • To support clean energy solutions like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Acadia Center produces trackers and economic analysis resources for stakeholders.
  • The forthcoming UtilityVision maps a new, consumer-friendly method for planning and delivering energy to homes and businesses.

Acadia Center has a regional presence with offices and staff in Boston; Hartford, Conn.; New York; Providence, R.I.; Rockport, Maine; and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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About Acadia Center

Acadia Center is a nonprofit organization that advances the clean energy future, with research, skilled advocacy and innovative policy designs. The organization is built on a foundation of clean energy policy advances that have improved health, environment and economy for local, regional and national communities. For more information on Acadia Center, please visit http://www.acadiacenter.staging.wpengine.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@AcadiaCtr).

Contact

Emily Avery-Miller
Acadia Center
eavery-miller@acadiacenter.org
617-742-0054×100

Hawk the Vote Election Media Lab Science Debate

Dr. Abigail Anthony of Acadia Center participated in this conversation covering science issues for the mid-term elections in Rhode Island.

Watch the HawktheVote Science Debate

hawkthevote
Dr. Abigail Anthony discussed top energy and science issues in a panel discussion hosted by the RWU Media Lab.

MA Tops ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard 2014

The report found that in 2014 Massachusetts (#1) continues to edge out California (#2) as the most energy-efficient state in the nation for the fourth year in a row. Following these states in the top 10 are: Rhode Island (marking the state’s first time in top five), Oregon, and Vermont (all tied for #3); Connecticut (#6); New York (#7); Washington (#8); Maryland (#9); and Minnesota (#10). Available online at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard.

Massachusetts Gubernatorial Forum on Energy, the Environment & the Innovation Economy

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates discussed key environmental and energy issues. Jeff McCormick (I), Martha Coakley (D), Charlie Baker (R) and Evan Falchuk (I) spoke at Suffolk University. Acadia Center’s Peter Shattuck served as a moderator.

Watch the MA Gubernatorial Forum here.

MAgovdebatesnapshot
Gubernatorial candidates fielded questions on energy and innovation in the forum event at Suffolk University