Boston, MA– On Thursday, the Massachusetts DPU approved the 2016-2018 Energy Efficiency Investment Plans, setting the course for the next chapter of the award-winning MassSave energy efficiency programs. The Plans feature goals and strategies for saving energy and reducing bills for Massachusetts homes and businesses. The programs will provide an estimated $8 billion in economic benefits and energy savings over the three year period – on top of $12.5 billion in benefits that the programs have delivered since 2008. The plans also set the highest savings goals in the nation – annual reductions of 2.93% of electric retail sales and 1.24% of natural gas retail sales – even higher than the 2015 savings goals that resulted in Massachusetts being ranked #1 in energy efficiency by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy for the 5th year running. These energy savings will deliver environmental benefits equivalent to removing over 410,000 cars from the road.
“Massachusetts’ energy efficiency programs are delivering on their promise to create large energy savings for consumers, and move the Commonwealth toward a clean, affordable and secure energy future,” said Daniel L. Sosland, Acadia Center President. “Efficiency is the best near-term energy strategy for reducing Massachusetts’ residents’ energy bills. Investing in energy efficiency produces immediate bill savings that persist for years to come,” said Sosland.
The DPU’s Order approved National Grid’s plan to enhance efficiency offerings on Nantucket, in the hopes of reducing load growth sufficient to defer construction of a third undersea transmission cable for 7 years – something that they estimate will save ratepayers $2.8 million. The Order also recognized the utilities’ commitment to explore targeting efficiency investments to specific geographic locations that can yield benefits for customers and the electric system. Acadia Center is hopeful that the programs will follow-through on deploying geo-targeted demonstration projects in this three year period, particularly in areas that are subject to gas constraints or those where enhanced efficiency can alleviate congestion on the electric grid or defer the need for transmission and distribution infrastructure investments.
“Energy efficiency is a resource just like energy from Brayton Point, Pilgrim Nuclear, or other centralized power plants” said Acadia Center Senior Attorney, and Energy Efficiency Advisory Council representative, Amy Boyd. “But energy efficiency is much cheaper, cleaner, and lower risk. By approving this plan, the DPU is helping customers save money by using less energy and reducing spending on new infrastructure.”
By investing in as much low-cost energy efficiency as possible, Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts —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 Massachusetts Gross State Product an estimated $6.40 and every $1 million invested in energy efficiency generates around 43 job-years of employment.
Amy Boyd, Senior Attorney
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Kiernan Dunlop, Communications Associate
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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.