2015 EERMC Annual Report
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
To Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Leaders and Members of the General Assembly, and all Rhode Island energy consumers,
In 2006, the Rhode Island General Assembly unanimously approved a new law for Rhode Island that is reducing the state’s energy costs by making energy efficiency investment decisions on an economic basis. The Least Cost Procurement provisions of the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency, Affordability, and Conservation Act replaced an old system of investing in a statutorily-mandated, arbitrary amount of energy efficiency with a new strategy based on economics, flexible to changing market conditions, and designed to maximize consumer benefit.
Over the past 8 years, this annual report has documented that Least Cost Procurement is paying off. The efficiency plans and investments ushered in by this strategy have vaulted Rhode Island to the top of the national rankings. Rhode Island and Massachusetts were recently ranked the #1 states in the country for utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s 2014 State Scorecard.
In addition to enabling nation-leading levels of energy savings, Rhode Island’s investments in cost-effective, low-cost energy efficiency are creating jobs and boosting economic activity. Energy efficiency reduces the cost of doing business in Rhode Island and lowers residents’ energy bills, leaving them with more disposable income to spend on other goods and services. These two effects lead to job creation and economic growth.
Since 2008, Rhode Island has invested $558 million in energy efficiency and consumers have realized $1.99 billion in economic benefits. Rhode Island has reduced its electric demand by 12% through low-cost efficiency and is on track to meet 17% of its electricity consumption through efficiency by 2017.
Rhode Island consumers are the focus of Least Cost Procurement, and the EERMC’s role in representing the interests of diverse stakeholders and consumers is critically important. The EERMC provides meaningful input into the utility’s long-term energy efficiency plans and ensures that consumer and environmental benefits are maximized. We hope this report underscores the important role of the EERMC in providing ratepayer participation and oversight for the economic and environmental well-being of the state.
The EERMC is grateful for your support in the past and looks forward to your continued support in coming years. We are committed to working cooperatively with policymakers and all of Rhode Island’s energy consumers to continue the state’s leadership position.
S. Paul Ryan, Chair