Massachusetts regulators approve utility energy efficiency plans

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved efficiency plans for 10 utilities, which is projected to save consumers US$3.6 billion over the next two years.

The department’s plan included the state’s largest utility, National Grid, which will invest nearly US$850 million in electric energy efficiency and more than $382 million in natural gas efficiency.

In total, the energy efficiency plans which is aimed at identifying more and better ways to help consumers save on their energy costs, will generate US$8 billion in savings and benefits.

According to Utility Dive, Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts, said: “The DPU challenged National Grid and the state’s other utility companies to find more and better ways to help our customers save on their energy costs, while providing greater opportunities for them to help improve our environment.

“We believe the programs will further solidify the state’s standing as the most energy efficient in the country and will help customers save on their energy bills while making their homes more comfortable and their businesses more profitable.”

According to Smart Grid News, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities’ energy efficiency plans have set the most aggressive targets in the country, including retail power sale reductions of almost 3% annually.

Savings through energy efficiency

[quote] Apart from electricity cost savings, National Grid’s energy efficiency programmes are expected to save 17.6 MW of electricity and more than 605 million therms of natural gas.

The utility said: “In terms of potential greenhouse gas pollution, that equates to taking more than 200,000 automobiles off the road.”

The utility has plans for both residential, commercial and industrial customers. National Grid plans to market energy efficiency programmes to renters more directly, with more targeted messaging. It will also offer landlords incentives to weatherproof their buildings; and an increased incentive for middle income customers to weatherproof their homes.

Utility Dive adds that for commercial and industrial customers, the programmes expand the energy efficiency equipment eligible for incentives.

It notes that this provides a single point of contact for the owners of multi-family dwellings. It also provides direct support from National Grid’s new construction staff in the design of high performance energy efficient buildings.