Announcing UtilityVision: Empowering Consumers for a Clean Energy Future
UtilityVision is here! This publication frames an ambitious but realistic energy future that puts the consumer firmly in the center to allow them greater freedom and control over energy costs. UtilityVision presents a comprehensive regulatory framework for a modern energy system that revolves around the consumer and propels us toward our climate and economic goals.
There are five key areas for reform:
- Empowering the consumer: Consumers are the most important constituent of our energy system. The modern grid should meet their full energy needs: provide affordable and reliable energy, give them real control over their energy use and costs, help them enjoy the benefits of innovation, and treat all consumers fairly.
- Planning a consumer-focused power grid: Grid planning must merge the traditional world of “poles and wires” with available new technologies and modern strategies.
- Aligning utility incentives with consumer and environmental goals: Regulation of the power grid needs to change to provide utilities with the financial incentives that will achieve the goals of increased consumer control and decreased GHG emissions.
- Helping consumers pay for power they use: Electric bills should be designed to empower consumers to make smart energy and economic decisions to save money and energy.
- Paying consumers for power they produce: Consumers using local renewable energy resources—through distributed generation like rooftop solar–should be charged based on the costs of staying connected to the grid and credited for the full range of benefits they provide.
UtilityVision addresses one core part of Acadia Center’s vision a clean energy system that will drive down carbon emissions. It outlines a pathway and detailed policy recommendations for stakeholders and regulators to modernize the way we plan, manage and invest in the power grid. This approach addresses utility business models, rate-making and customer-side energy resources together. UtilityVision follows on Acadia Center’s EnergyVision (2014) which charts out reforms in four interconnected areas to produce a cleaner, lower cost energy system and reach 80 percent carbon emission reductions by 2050.