Utility Regulation & Policy
As more utilities look at prepay plans, new research finds this option carries both benefits and potential risks. While it may put at risk the wellbeing of some customers trying to save money, it can also lower electricity use and garner customer satisfaction.
Pending bipartisan legislation in Pennsylvania could unlock 30,000 jobs and about $6.4 billion in net savings by removing barriers to energy efficiency investment, according to ACEEE analysis released today.
An increasing number of states are finding new ways to track and value energy savings over time, according to research published today. Energy efficiency savings can accrue over many years, but most policies focus only on the first year. Our report, Energy Efficiency Over Time: Measuring and Valuing Lifetime Energy Savings in Policy and Planning, explores recent state efforts to take a longer view and the challenges they face when policies track only short-term savings.
Governor Ralph Northam’s new 2018 Virginia Energy Plan (VEP), released earlier this month, rounds out a busy year for clean energy policy in Virginia. It contains policy and program recommendations that will, if thoroughly implemented, deepen energy savings and expand clean energy in the Commonwealth.
Blockchain is generating a lot of buzz as a promising system to verify and track peer-to-peer transactions in the energy sector. It could have multiple applications although there is still debate about which, if any, will work well. What’s clear, however, is that companies are already exploring uses of blockchain to save energy. Let me tell you about three applications that show promise.
If 2018 were an energy-saving roller coaster, the 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard would be your souvenir photo capturing a year of promising highs and a few stomach-churning lows in efficiency policy.
Electricity bills don’t make for terribly exciting reading, but as boring as they may look, there is much more going on beneath the surface. Whereas the price most people pay for electricity remains steady from month to month, electricity costs can change dramatically from one hour to the next for the utilities that send the bills. For example, weather can cause demand to spike, raising prices as well, and suddenly the cost of the electricity is much different from the price we see on our bill.
The increased prevalence of distributed energy resources is driving changes to utility planning. Our new report, The Role of Energy Efficiency in a Distributed Energy Future, found that most utilities are not currently using energy efficiency in distribution system planning, but several states are pursuing new approaches to using efficiency to displace traditional distribution infrastructure upgrades and integrate more renewables into the grid.
With a critical vote coming as soon as Monday, Iowa is at an important crossroads as legislative efforts threaten to scale back energy efficiency. In recent weeks, legislators have introduced bills that would deprive homes and businesses of valuable programs that keep energy costs down, create jobs, reduce pollution, and defer construction on costly and excessive energy generation.