The traditional utility and power grid model of a one-way power flow from central generating stations to consumers is rapidly giving way to an exciting, consumer-friendly energy future. The system can be more cost-effective, cleaner, offer greater consumer control over energy costs and help clear the pathway to very low carbon emissions.

In Acadia Center’s vision of a modern grid, homes and businesses become the centerpiece of the energy system. Consumers will have greater control over energy use through technologies such as rooftop solar water heating and photovoltaic systems, advanced meters that help consumers control and monitor power usage, and technologies such as smart appliances and heat pumps. Community energy systems- local wind power, solar arrays, and combined heat and power- will also play an important role in the modern power grid. UtilityVision, an Acadia Center publication, presents this comprehensive vision with illustrations and recommendations. Acadia Center is also participating in grid modernization dockets and related state and regional proceedings and forums.

Technological advancement in the energy arena is moving so quickly that the market is ahead of the regulatory structure governing utilities. Today’s grid planning and investment policies were developed in an earlier era, when large fossil-fueled power plants were constructed to energize population centers. Longstanding policies skew decisions in favor of legacy power grid investments over newer, often less expensive and more advanced solutions. The rules need to change so that viable, often lower-cost, alternatives to transmission and distribution infrastructure projects are fully considered. New regulations should also reflect the appropriate role of the utility in an increasingly decentralized system.

Acadia Center is working to update policy models so they align utilities’ financial incentives with the public’s clean energy, carbon reduction, and economic goals.

 

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Consumption in New England

    Some entities and stakeholders have raised concerns about the environmental performance of the regional electricity system during a particularly cold multi-week period in December 2017 and January 2018. To better inform recent public discussions around these regional energy and climate issues, as well as potential policy solutions, Acadia Center has compiled and analyzed available data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, electricity generation, and fuel consumption in the New England region, with conclusions presented in this fact sheet.

  • Joint Statement on Eversource Rate Case in Massachusetts

    In January 2017, Eversource filed its first complete rate case in many years. After a lengthy proceeding, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved four major proposals from Eversource that are bad for ratepayers and move us away from a future with consumer control and widespread local clean energy. The endorsers of this letter support efforts to undo these counterproductive decisions in 2018 and urge the Massachusetts Legislature to ensure that similar steps are not taken in the future.

  • RGGI’s Role in New Hampshire

    The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has now been in effect for nine years in New Hampshire and the numbers tell a clear story: RGGI has produced substantial benefits—not just for the environment—but for the economy, the workforce, and public health. This fact sheet details the benefits New Hampshire has secured from RGGI since the program began.

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