Here’s our brief rundown on key developments in energy efficiency policy from around the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states over the last few months:
Energy Efficiency Program Updates
- Connecticut Draft Decision on Conservation and Load Management (C&LM) Plans: The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released its draft determination on the 2013-2015 Conservation and Load Management Plans in late August. In the decision, DEEP authorizes a significant increase in electric and gas program budgets, which would increase to $183.6 million for electricity and $51.4 million for gas annually by 2015. While a marked increase, the amount is lower than the amount requested by the utilities to allow for program implementation to catch up. DEEP is currently taking public comments until September 23, 2013 and is expected to issue a final decision in December.
- Rhode Island 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency Savings Targets: Rhode Island’s Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC) recently endorsed the energy savings targets for its upcoming 2015-2017 energy efficiency plans. Electric savings goals would be about 2.5 percent and natural gas savings goals would be about 1 percent of 2012 sales respectively. Program budget levels will be determined at a later time.
- Massachusetts Results from 2012 Energy Efficiency Programs: Results from the Massachusetts utilities’ 2012 electric and gas programs is now available on the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) website. Data shows that the programs achieved 88 percent of their annual and lifetime electricity savings goals, while spending 79 percent of their budget— and achieved 96 percent of their gas savings goal while spending 102 percent of their budget. The full annual report will be released later this year.
RGGI State Rulemaking Processes
The states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) issued an updated Model Rule for operating state CO2 Budget Trading Programs from 2014 to 2020 earlier this year. The Updated Model Rule modifies the total CO2 emissions budget for the region to align with the actual emissions level of 91 million tons and makes changes to the use of banked allowances. Several states have held hearings over the summer regarding their individual state RGGI rulemaking processes to hear from the public about its views on the revised RGGI program. Connecticut, Vermont, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York have all finalized their public comment processes and will finalize processes later this year. NEEP has submitted comments to these states in support of the updated RGGI Model Rule and will continue to monitor the rulemaking process here and around the region (see more on our State Activities pages).
Legislators Return for Fall Sessions
Josh Craft, Manager of Public Policy Analysis
Serafina Zeringo, Public Policy Intern
Lastly, some states in the Northeast are resuming legislative activity now for the fall session. NEEP will be paying particularly close attention to action in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as are considering important bills regarding their energy efficiency programs.
The diversion of state RGGI funds has everyone scratching their heads.
Some things just make you scratch your head. As Jim’s piece earlier this week illustrated, Connecticut is going to tap funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to plug holes in the state budget. In the past, New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire have done the same. The move has provoked strong opposition from a broad array of clean energy and environmental advocates in the region. And for good reason. Even in these tight fiscal times, state lawmakers must keep their hands out of the RGGI “jar” for the sake of their economy and the climate. Continue reading
Have a look at what we’re covering in the latest issue of our newsletter, NEEP Notes:
A wrap-up of the Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit, and a preview of new EM&V Forum Products!
Check out the latest NEEP Notes and subscribe to all of our newsletters on our website!
By Sue Coakley, NEEP Executive Director
Special to the Worcester Business Journal Originally published July 4, 2011
As the world searches to uncover new sources of clean energy, energy efficiency is often overlooked, even though it is the only existing source that is clean, abundant, affordable and immediately available.
People tend to think of energy efficiency as an abstract concept — a philosophy, framework or approach to reducing energy consumption. And because of this, many disregard efficiency and its ability to assure energy security and environmental and economic sustainability.
Listen to local business leaders and you’ll hear that energy efficiency does matter to our regional economic strength and in building strong vibrant communities, especially in these uncertain economic times. Supported by federal and regional funding programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, state grants and by ratepayers themselves, energy efficiency measures bring jobs to our region and deliver real money to our communities. Every dollar invested in efficiency returns $2.60 to New Englanders, according to a report compiled by my organization, the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP).
Read more on WBJournal.com
How the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Is Helping the Northeast Shift to Clean Energy and Reduce Pollution from Fossil Fuels
A new report released today from Environment America says that clean energy investments totaling nearly $450 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has led to over $1 billion in energy savings and has contributed $2.6 billion to economic growth in the region, as of the end of May 2011.
According to the report, “A Program that Works: How the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is Helping the Northeast Shift to Clean Energy and Reduce Pollution from Fossil Fuels,” RGGI is helping states from Maryland to Maine meet their energy challenges by providing investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, cutting pollution and curbing dependence on fossil fuels. Continue reading
See this week’s Energy Efficiency Policy Tracker for the latest news in energy efficiency policy, including:
- New Jersey Leaves the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
- Connecticut Creates a New Energy and Environment Agency
- Maine Legislature Takes Step to Roll Back Energy Code
- More Stretch Code Communities in Massachusetts
- Newsworthy Reports: ASAP Furnace and AC Standards Fact Sheet and Department of Energy’s 2011 Strategic Plan
Check out the full version here
See our most recent roundup of energy efficiency policy matters at NEEP’s Policy Tracker page on our blog. Some key developments include:
- New Federal Energy Efficiency Legislation
- Recent Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Happenings
- Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Bill in Vermont
- NYSERDA’s SBC IV Technology and Market Development Operating Plan
- Newsworthy Reports: NRDC Study of “Rebound” and Rhode Island’s Annual Energy Efficiency Report