|IN THE NEWS: Nation-Leading Energy Efficiency Plan Proposed in Massachusetts for 2016-2018|
November 13, 2015
ORIGINAL LINK: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2015/energy-efficiency-plan-proposed-in-massachusetts.html
Three Year Energy Efficiency Plan Set to Deliver Billions in Benefits to Massachusetts
BOSTON – November 13, 2015 - The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the statewide energy efficiency plan for 2016-2018, which was supported by the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council and submitted to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) by the Commonwealth’s investor-owned gas and electric utilities and energy providers, is expected to deliver an estimated $8 billion in economic, environmental and energy benefits or three dollars in benefits for every dollar invested in efficiency.
“Energy efficiency delivers proven, cost-effective ways for residents and businesses to manage their energy costs and help Massachusetts meet our clean energy and climate goals” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The plan’s savings goals for the next three years will not only lead the nation, but will reduce the Commonwealth’s energy demands and provide energy, environmental and economic benefits.”
The energy savings goals in the 2016-2018 Statewide Plan once again sets nation-leading savings levels for both electricity (2.93% of retail sales) and gas (1.24% of retail sales). The proposed plan also ensures continued growth of energy efficiency in the Commonwealth with year over year increases in annual and lifetime savings goals for both electric and gas. These goal levels represent a significant increase from the 2013-2015 Three Year Plan, including a 15% increase in electric savings (2.55% of retail sales) and a 10% increase in gas savings (1.13% of retail sales).
“Massachusetts’ ambitious energy efficiency investments are leading to electricity consumption reduction at the same time as the economy grows” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “These investments show a commitment to continuing to lead the country on energy efficiency; they will reduce costs for businesses and homeowners and create jobs in the Commonwealth.”
The electric and natural gas efficiency programs delivered under the Mass Save® brand provide technical assistance and incentives such as free home energy audits, instant savings measures like power strips and energy efficient lightbulbs, rebates and discounts on advanced technologies, and custom programs for large consumers of energy. They help homeowners, renters, businesses, local governments and institutions use less energy, manage their costs and reduce their carbon footprints.
The EEAC strongly supported the plan, when it passed a resolution supporting the high-level savings goals and plan details. Through the Green Communities Act (GCA), Massachusetts has a statutory mandate to achieve all cost-effective energy efficiency. The EEAC was created by the GCA to collaborate with utilities and program administrators in the development, implementation and review of statewide energy efficiency plans. The EEAC is chaired by Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson.
“The energy savings from these efficiency plans underline the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to a clean, affordable and resilient future” said DOER Commissioner Judson. “The utilities, energy efficiency providers and stakeholders who have contributed their ideas to this proposed plan are ensuring that the Commonwealth continues to raise the bar.”
“As the ratepayer advocate and member of the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, I support increasing the Commonwealth’s commitment to energy efficiency, a cost-effective way to save consumers money, create jobs and help meet our climate challenges,” said Attorney General Maura Healey.
Massachusetts recently earned the #1 ranking for the fifth consecutive year in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2015 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. In the scorecard, Massachusetts received the highest mark possible for its utility-managed energy efficiency programs.
The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to maximizing cost-effective energy efficiency efforts and meeting the targets set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act, in part by filing legislation for the procurement of cost-effective, hydropower generation. The bill will position Massachusetts to reach its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets and enable the Commonwealth to achieve over 5 percent of this required emissions reduction – the equivalent of taking approximately 1 million cars off the road, or replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy to power 1.2 million homes.
“Energy efficiency is the smartest, simplest and quickest way to combat climate change. Massachusetts is a national leader in these efforts, and will continue to be so with these plans,” said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. “However, this a starting point, and not the end of our work.”
“Energy efficiency and conservation are essential components to meeting our long term energy needs, decreasing our carbon footprint as well as providing numerous benefits to our economy,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading).
“Conservation is a key element of our state’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and energy costs for both homes and businesses,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Conserved energy is as important as produced energy for meeting our goals, and this plan reflects the administration’s commitment to pursue it vigorously.”
The plan is now under review by the DPU and the DPU will rule on its approval prior to the end of January 2016.