CONCORD, N.H. — Yesterday, New Hampshire took an historic step towards reducing energy costs for its citizens. The Public Utilities Commission approved the Settlement Agreement between utilities and other stakeholders, including Acadia Center, outlining an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) for the state. For the first time, specific savings targets have been set at a state level, and a long-term goal of attaining all cost effective energy efficiency has been approved.
Until now, New Hampshire has been the only state in the region without statewide targets. While the state’s CORE efficiency programs, run by the utilities, have been successful in reducing energy use, the state has missed out on millions of dollars in energy savings, which more robust programs could have delivered. As the Commission itself states in the order, “The EERS is a significant step toward addressing the business community’s concerns about remaining competitive in today’s economy.”
For the first three-year period, the EERS sets targets of 0.8% for electric and 0.7% for gas in 2018; an additional 1% for electric and 0.75% for gas in 2019; and an additional 1.3% for electric and 0.8% for gas in 2020. The three years of efficiency will provide cumulative savings of 3.1% of electric sales and 2.25% of gas sales, relative to the baseline year of 2014, by the end of 2020.
It also expands the role of the state Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Board, with additional funding and the support of outside experts, to serve in an advisory role in the design, implementation, and evaluation of efficiency programs. Such stakeholder boards have been effective in other states in establishing a more efficient and less adversarial process, improving program design and delivery, and increasing stakeholder buy-in.
“We applaud the Commission for recognizing the extensive analysis and collaboration undertaken by the diverse group of utilities, environmental groups, business groups, low-income advocates, and others over the past year to come up with a plan to steer New Hampshire toward a more efficient energy future” said Ellen Hawes, Senior Policy Analyst with Acadia Center. The establishment of an EERS reflects that energy efficiency has a wide range of benefits for customers, including lowering utility bills, improving public health and comfort, offering more customer control over energy use, creating new jobs, and reducing pollution.
Acadia Center congratulates the Commission for this important step.
Ellen Hawes, Senior Analyst, Energy Systems and Carbon Markets
Jamie Howland, Director, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Initiative
860-246-7121, x201, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 comprehensive, real-world approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration.