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.

  • Electric Vehicles and State Funds

    Policymakers in Massachusetts have directed a study of transportation funding from electric vehicles and whether additional contributions are necessary to offset a loss of revenue from the gasoline tax. Acadia Center’s analysis demonstrates that additional fees are not necessary or fair in the short run, but in the longer term, an energy-equivalent surcharge per kWh of electricity consumed would be a fair way to ensure equitable contributions from all alternative fuels.

  • Grid Modernization and Utility Reform in MA Series

    Massachusetts has fallen behind its neighbors in exploring and enacting policies that will help the Commonwealth keep pace with clean energy technologies that offer enormous promise to make the electricity grid more responsive to consumers, improve economic competitiveness, and produce substantial reductions in climate pollution. Acadia Center comments on this trend in a three-part opinion series for CommonWealth Magazine. Part One of the series reviews the recent history of grid modernization and utility reform in Massachusetts, its uncertain future, and the need for legislative reforms and oversight. Part Two describes how the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) decision on revenue, return on equity, and utility business model reform fails to benefit consumers and ultimately approves approximately $460 million in additional ratepayer costs. Part Three discusses the DPU decision issued on January 5, 2018, covering rate design.

  • Eversource Rate Case in MA

    Just over a year ago, on January 17, 2017, Eversource filed a comprehensive electric rate case in Massachusetts, requesting significant revenue increases, new rate structures, and an array of investments. On November 30, 2017 and January 5, 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities issued its Orders in the case approving nearly all Eversource’s requests. This document describes Acadia Center’s principles for reform and key components of the recent Orders on Eversource’s rate case proposals, followed by next steps and further recommended reforms.

  • View all related resources