Boston, MA– Massachusetts’ utilities have proposed the nation’s most ambitious energy efficiency programs, which will produce almost $8 billion in benefits over the next three years. The next chapter of the award-winning MassSave energy efficiency programs is now in the hands of the Department of Public Utilities, with a decision on the final proposed 2016-2018 Energy Efficiency Investment Plans expected by the end of January. Public comment on the plans is being heard today, November 30, 2015, beginning at 2 PM at the DPU’s offices at One South Station, 5th Floor.
The proposed plan features goals and strategies for saving energy and reducing bills for Massachusetts homes and businesses. If adopted, the programs will provide almost $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 plan also sets 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. Energy savings would 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 three-year plan was developed collaboratively with the state’s utilities and key stakeholders representing a wide range of consumer and environmental interests, including Acadia Center, the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC), the Department of Energy Resources, and the Attorney General’s Office. By making successful use of the EEAC as a stakeholder council, the proposed plan improved markedly since the original draft in April. Among other factors, annual electric savings goals increased 17%, while the cost per unit of savings decreased 13%; and annual gas savings goals increased 15% while the cost per unit of savings decreased 6%, compared to the April 30th draft.
“Energy efficiency is a resource just like energy from Brayton Point, Pilgrim Nuclear, or other centralized power plants” said Acadia Center Senior Attorney, and EEAC representative, Amy Boyd. “But energy efficiency is much cheaper, cleaner, and lower risk. Approving this plan would be the best way to help customers save money.”
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.