2016 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,
On behalf of the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC), please accept our 2016 Annual Report. In 2006, the Rhode Island General Assembly unanimously approved a new law for Rhode Island that continues to reduce the state’s energy costs by making significant energy efficiency investments that are a more economical resource than the cost of energy supply. The Least Cost Procurement provisions of the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency, Affordability, and Conservation Act replaced an antiquated system of investing in a statutorily-mandated, arbitrary amount of energy efficiency with a new strategy based on economics, flexible and responsive to changing market conditions, and designed to maximize consumer benefits.
Over the past 9 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 was recently ranked the #1 state in the country for utility energy efficiency programs and policies in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s 2015 State Scorecard. If we are to continue to lead by example, we will need to provide support and direction to both National Grid and the Office of Energy Resources as we strive to achieve even higher results with lower program costs by creating the innovative programs of the future.
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 while providing a valuable service to all Rhode Islanders.
Since 2008, Rhode Island has invested $489 million in energy efficiency and consumers have realized $2.67 billion in economic benefits. Rhode Island has reduced its electric demand by 14% 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 direction in the development of 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 all state residents.
This year marked an important step forward for energy efficiency with the Administration’s creation of the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, supported by the EERMC. This bold plan will enable expanded financing that can create even more jobs, more energy efficiency and a clean energy future for Rhode Island without increasing costs to taxpayers. Once the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is implemented later this year we will truly have energy efficiency financing alternatives that invest for the long term for all Rhode Islanders.
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 in creating a cost effective, clean energy economy.
Christopher M. Powell, Chair