RI Public Utilities Commission Votes to Expand Cost-Saving Energy Efficiency Programs in 2015
PROVIDENCE, RI – On December 23, 2014, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the 2015 Energy Efficiency Program Plan for Rhode Island, which will enable cost-effective energy efficiency programs to generate economic savings for electric and natural gas consumers in the state.
The 2015 Energy Efficiency Plan was developed collaboratively by key stakeholders representing a wide range of consumer and environmental interests, including Acadia Center, the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, the Office of Energy Resources, and National Grid. The plan is also supported by the National Consumer Law Center on behalf of the George Wiley Center and National Housing Trust, Green and Healthy Homes Providence, Peoples Power & Light, and the Rhode Island Builders Association.
“Energy efficiency is a powerful tool to help chart Rhode Island’s pathway to a sustainable economy and clean energy future,” said Acadia Center President Dan Sosland.
“Efficiency is the best near-term energy strategy for reducing Rhode Islanders’ energy bills, particularly in the face of higher electric commodity prices this winter. Investing in energy efficiency produces immediate bill savings that persist for years to come,” said Sosland.
The 2015 Energy Efficiency Program Plan is designed to generate $2.35 in benefits for every $1 invested in cost-effective energy efficiency. When fully implemented, Rhode Island’s 2015 energy efficiency programs will:
- Produce over $336 million in net economic benefits to Rhode Island homes and businesses.
- Save 1.9 million MWh of electricity and 4.8 million MMBTU of natural gas.
- Boost Rhode Island’s economy by adding over $417 million to Gross State Product.
- Create over 4,500 job-years of employment economy-wide.
The Division of Public Utilities–the state agency charged with watching out for consumer interests– recently commissioned the research firm Synapse Energy Economics to see what efficiency is really doing for our electric bills. The analysis finds that a homeowner who gets a home energy assessment can save between 11% and 15% on her electric bill by replacing inefficient lighting and appliances, and upgrading home insulation and weatherization. Factoring in savings on natural gas or fuel oil use would boost these saving percentages even higher. And small business customers save as much as 37% to 47% by installing high efficiency equipment and retrofits. The analysis also shows that even customers who do nothing to their own houses or offices benefit from others’ energy efficiency actions. Reducing the state’s demand for power helps lower the costs of the whole energy system—savings that are passed on to all electric customers.
“Energy efficiency is an energy resource just like power from the coal and natural gas-fired power plants at Salem Harbor, Brayton Point, or Manchester Street. But energy efficiency is much cheaper, cleaner, and lower risk. In fact, the Public Utilities Commission’s decision to approve this plan is the best way to help customers save money,” said Acadia Center Rhode Island Director Abigail Anthony. Dr. Anthony represents environmental interests on the state’s Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC), which provides independent input and oversight to National Grid’s electric and natural gas efficiency programs.
The 2015 Energy Efficiency Plan is part of a larger three-year Least Cost Procurement Plan for 2015, 2016, and 2017 that was approved by the PUC in October. The plan can be found at: http://www.ripuc.ri.gov/eventsactions/docket/4527-NGrid-2015-EEPP(10-31-14).pdf
Emily Avery-Miller, Dir. External Relations, Acadia Center**
(617) 742-0054×100, email@example.com
Abigail Anthony, Dir. Rhode Island Office, Acadia Center**
(401) 474-8876, 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 real-world and comprehensive approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration.
**ENE (Environment Northeast) is now Acadia Center. To more accurately reflect the organization’s geographic scope and evolving approach, we adopted a new name, logo and website
http://www.acadiacenter.org on October 30, 2014. Our team, goals and commitment to results have not changed, and we look forward to continuing our work and partnership with you and all of our networks.