Resources

EFFICIENCY PLANNING IN RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island’s energy efficiency activities work in three-year cycles that include 1) setting energy savings targets, 2) developing three-year plans, 3) developing, implementing, and evaluating annual plans for three years, 4) evaluating again, and 5) using the evaluation results to inform the next cycle.

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LEGISLATION & PLANS

Least Cost Procurement Legislation & Standards

Rhode Island’s Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 (“2006 Comprehensive Energy Act”) established a comprehensive energy policy that explicitly and systematically requires maximization of ratepayers’ economic savings through investments in all cost-effective energy efficiency. By means of this requirement on the distribution utility to procure all cost-effective energy efficiency, Rhode Island ratepayers have saved and will continue to save hundreds of millions of dollars in energy bills over the next decade.

The primary guidelines informing the planning process to achieve this objective are the Standards for energy efficiency and conservation procurement and system reliability (“the Standards”). The EERMC proposed the initial Standards in June, 2008, and a subsequent revision was approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in July, 2008. Updates to the Standards were proposed by the EERMC in 2011 under Docket No. 4202, and again in 2014 under Docket No. 4443, which were both approved by the PUC. The Standards were most recently updated under Docket No. 5015. The purpose of the these Standards is to provide sufficient direction to guide National Grid in its 3-Year and Annual Plans.

Energy Efficiency & System Reliability Plans

Least Cost Procurement law requires the electric and gas utility to submit three-year and annual plans for both energy efficiency program delivery and system reliability procurement. To access additional relevant materials for each plan, explore the associated Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Docket.

National Grid Three-Year Plans

National Grid Annual Plans

Energy Efficiency & System Reliability Program Results

A variety of reports track energy efficiency program results. These reports include National Grid’s Annual Reports and Quarterly Updates. The EERMC also issues an Annual Report to the Legislature which highlights its activities as it oversees National Grid’s Energy Efficiency Plans.

EM&V STUDIES

Evaluation studies help to verify and qualify the impact that programs are having on energy savings. These studies are relied upon to inform the planning and development of National Grid’s energy efficiency programs and services.

Commercial & Industrial

2021 Studies

2020 Studies

2019 Studies

2018 Studies

2017 Studies

2016 Studies

2015 Studies

2014 Studies

2013 Studies

2012 Studies

2011 Studies

2009 Studies

Residential

2021 Studies

2020 Studies

2019 Studies

2018 Studies

2017 Studies

2016 Studies

2015 Studies

2014 Studies

2013 Studies

2012 Studies

2011 Studies

2010 Studies

2009 Studies

Cross Cutting

2021 Studies

2020 Studies

2019 Studies

2018 Studies

2017 Studies

2016 Studies

2015 Studies

2014 Studies

2013 Studies

2012 Studies

2011 Studies

EERMC COMMISSIONED STUDIES

The EERMC occasionally commissions studies to better understand opportunities and potential strategies for accessing energy efficiency savings in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Market Potential Study (2021-2026)

Dunsky Energy Consulting performed a Market Potential Study, commissioned by the EERMC, for the State of Rhode Island. The Potential Study covers the six-year period from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2026 and includes electricity, natural gas, oil, and propane energy savings; passive electric demand reduction savings and active demand response savings; and the costs and benefits associated with these savings.

Finance Study

As Rhode Island continues to set nation-leading goals for customer-side investments in least-cost energy efficiency, increasing attention has been paid to the role that financing might play in expanding the reach of programs, lowering their overall costs, and otherwise supporting the wider and hastened adoption of efficient and clean energy technologies.

In 2014, the EERMC commissioned a study by Dunsky Energy Consulting to evaluate how new and existing energy efficiency financing strategies could potentially support Rhode Island’s public policy of Least-Cost Procurement. Dunsky Energy Consulting worked with a group of energy efficiency and finance stakeholders over the course of five months to explore the following research objectives:

  1. Defining the purpose of an expanded focus on financing
  2. Clarifying terminology related to financing
  3. Reviewing how Rhode Island currently uses financing
  4. Learning what other jurisdictions have done regarding financing
  5. Discussing which financing methods make sense for Rhode Island
  6. Understanding the benefits and costs of financing
  7. Specifying how Rhode Island would smooth the way for expanded use of financing
  8. Exploring wider financing opportunities

Links to the meeting presentation materials and the final Dunsky memo are included below.

Opportunity Reports

The General Assembly designed the 2006 Comprehensive Energy Bill to maximize ratepayers’ economic savings by placing a clear requirement on the distribution utility to procure all energy efficiency that is less costly than supply. To help determine the quantity of such efficiency resources and the cost savings to be enjoyed by Rhode Island ratepayers, the General Assembly charged the EERMC with producing an Opportunity Report that would identify: (1) the quantity of low cost efficiency resources existing in Rhode Island homes, business, and institutions and (2) System Reliability resources such as distributed generation, small scale renewables, and demand response in the state. The studies that follow were commissioned, directed, and managed by the EERMC to meet these goals. These studies are to be used by National Grid in developing its Least Cost Efficiency Procurement and System Reliability Plans, and by the EERMC in guiding the development of state policies and practices consistent with the findings and directives of the 2006 Comprehensive Energy Bill and the PUC’s Standards for Energy Efficiency and System Reliability Procurement.

KEY EFFICIENCY ENTITIES

Several entities are instrumental in ensuring that Rhode Island’s energy efficiency programs perform at their best and adhere to the law of Least Cost Procurement.

Utilities

National Grid is the primary utility in Rhode Island, as it serves 99% of electric and gas customers. National Grid also operates in Massachusetts and New York. The Pascoag Utility District serves a portion of Burrillville and Block Island Power Company serves New Shoreham. Because National Grid is the primary utility in the state, it is often referred to as “the utility” or “the Company”. National Grid is also the primary energy efficiency program administrator in Rhode Island, maintaining a wide portfolio of successful programs.

Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC)

The Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC or Council) provides oversight of Rhode Island’s ratepayer funded energy efficiency programs and structured stakeholder participation. The Council includes fifteen members that represent small and large business, non-profit organizations, market rate and low-income homeowners and renters, municipalities, governments and environmental science and policy. The Council’s goal is to ensure Rhode Islanders are getting the least expensive and most environmentally healthy energy supply through energy efficiency, conservation, and resource management.

More information: About the EERMC

Public Utilities Commission (PUC)

The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is a quasi-judicial body that regulates Rhode Island utilities. In addition to regulating electric distribution and pipeline public utilities, the PUC also has jurisdiction over gas, water, railroad, ferry boats, telephone, and telegraph. The PUC has three Commissioners appointed by the Governor to six-year terms with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commissioners hold public hearings on rates, tariffs, and charges by the utility, among other items. Its role in energy efficiency involves approving utilities’ Annual Energy Efficiency (EE) and System Reliability Procurement (SRP) Plans (including the System Benefits Charge), Three-Year Energy Savings Targets, and Least Cost Procurement Standards.

More information: RI Public Utilities Commission

Division of Public Utilities & Carriers (DPUC)

The Division of Public Utilities and Carriers (DPUC or “Division”) is the regulatory arm that represents the ratepayer in rate cases and filings with the Public Utilities Commission. The Division is a settling party to EE and SRP Plans and participates in the Energy Efficiency Technical Working Group.

More information: RI Division of Public Utilities and Carriers

Office of Energy Resources (OER)

The Office of Energy Resources (OER) is Rhode Island’s lead state agency on energy policy and programs. OER works closely with private and public stakeholders to increase the reliability and security of the state’s energy supply, reduce energy costs and mitigate price volatility, and improve environmental quality. OER operates at the nexus of the many ongoing efforts to transform the Ocean State energy system. Its role in energy efficiency includes working closely with the Council and its consultant team to review EE and SRP Plans.

More information: RI Office of Energy Resources

Energy Efficiency Technical Working Group (EE TWG)

National Grid’s Rhode Island Energy Efficiency Technical Working Group (formerly known as the Demand Collaborative) is a group of energy efficiency stakeholders that meets monthly to inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of National Grid’s EE and SRP Plans. National Grid has facilitated the Collaborative since 1991 as a means to create transparency around the development of annual EE and SRP Plans and to work towards building consensus with organizations before the plans are filed with the PUC each year.

More information: EE Technical Working Group