Major Energy Efficiency Gains on Tap for Mass
Executive Office of Energy and Environment - January 29, 2010
Electricity and natural gas providers in Massachusetts are poised to invest a whopping $2+ billion in consumer energy efficiency measures over the next three years, helping both residential and business consumers reduce their energy use. Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles announced on January 29, 2010 that the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has approved plans committing Massachusetts to new efficiency standards that are estimated to save electric and natural gas customers more than $6 billion over the next three years. The 2008 Green Communities Act required the state's investor-owned electric and gas utilities to prepare energy efficiency plans and demand reduction resources that cost less than new energy supply.
The finalized plans require utilities to engage in a three-year agenda of customer-focused outreach programs that will educate consumers about the availability and benefits of energy efficiency programs. The plans call for electric and gas utilities to invest approximately $2.2 billion in efficiency measures over three years. Funding for the programs will include existing charges on ratepayer bills, carbon allowance auction proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - the nation's first functioning carbon market which has generated $79 million in auction proceeds to date, regional energy market revenues, and customer contributions.
For consumers, the plans include services which will provide improved energy assessments of ratepayers' homes, and incentives for purchase and installation of high efficiency lighting, appliances, heating and air conditioning, and insulation and air sealing. An estimated 15 million tons of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will be saved over the lifetime of the measures installed.
Thanks to DPU’s approval of this plan, by 2012, Massachusetts will likely lead the other states in per capita commitment to energy efficiency programs.