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Energy efficiency fund raided to balance budget: $12.5 million of public trust eroded

“Rhode Island’s energy efficiency programs generate immense economic value for the state,” so says folks from People’s Power and Light, Acadia Center, Burrillville Land Trust, the Conservation Law Foundation, the Environment Council of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Association of Conservation Commissions, the Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone and many more who signed a letter asking that the state budget be amended to delete the raid on the energy efficiency fund. The use of these funds bring millions of dollars in electricity and natural gas bill savings to the State’s residents and businesses, drive our growing clean energy economy, help low-income families reduce the difficult burden of high energy costs, and protect the health and prosperity of our local communities. Rhode Island’s Least Cost Procurement law – first implemented a decade ago and extended another five years in 2015 – is primarily responsible for the state’s continued leadership on economic efficiency, says People’s Power & Light. The General Assembly has unanimously recognized that the electric and natural gas distribution utility must invest in the lowest cost energy resource, energy efficiency, before more expensive energy supplies from outside Rhode Island. This is an economic strategy, not a social benefits program. It is a program that also sits well with every ratepayer.

Read the full story from RIFuture.org here.