Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

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CSG/ERC Seminar at Penn Addresses Carbon Policies, Sustainable Water Infrastructure and Renewables

On May 6, CSG/ERC brought together legislators from around the Northeast and eastern Canada to discuss policies to reduce carbon emissions, expand access to renewable energy and electric vehicles and promote sustainable practices for managing urban water resources. The meeting … Continue reading

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New York Energy Reforms Would Bar Utilities from Owning Local Power

As part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s effort to modernize the way electricity is produced and dispensed throughout New York state, regulators have released a new order that calls for greater integration of solar, wind and other distributed energy resources into the grid, while mostly barring utilities from owning those forms of power. The order is intended to achieve a mix of ambitious climate, technology and market-related policy goals. Continue reading

New York State’s Bold New Plan to Restructure Its Electricity System

Electricity is rediscovering its roots by virtue of the advantages that twenty-first century technologies offer. In the transportation sector, cleaner more fuel-efficient electric vehicles recall the early years of the automobile industry, when nearly one-third of cars manufactured in the U.S. had electric motors. And today’s electricity grid is revisiting the embryonic power system of the late eighteen- and early nineteen-hundreds, when electricity generated in small neighborhood plants powered gears and kept the lights on. Continue reading

Aggressive Steps to Increase Efficiency Central to Massachusetts and Connecticut Energy Plans

MA EE Plan 2013-15The Northeast stands out for its aggressive pursuit of energy efficiency, as demonstrated by the presence of six of its states– Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont – on the top-ten list in the most recent national scorecard published by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Massachusetts has occupied the scorecard’s first place since 2011, and its ambitious energy-efficiency plan for 2013-2015, along with new initiatives for building rating and commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans, suggest it is not content to rest on its laurels. Continue reading

State Clean-Energy Banks Can Reduce Reliance on Subsidies and Lower Costs, Report Says

New finance entities being developed by a handful of states to foster clean-energy development can reduce the dependence of such projects on federal subsidies and help lower costs, says a new report from the Brookings Institution. Continue reading

New Studies Uphold the Value of Energy-Efficiency Programs

Two questions are often raised about energy-efficiency programs, particularly those supported by the public-benefits charges on utility bills and by government incentives to which all of us contribute as rate- and taxpayers: Do such programs really deliver the expected reductions in energy use, and even if they do, might they nonetheless be futile because their savings are likely to be cancelled out by the so-called rebound effect? Continue reading

California State Energy Grants Yield Big Savings in Megawatts, and Dollars

While media outlets often publicize government missteps, such as the U.S. Department of Energy’s loans to the now bankrupt company Solyndra,[1] they typically underreport quiet successes. One such example at the state level is the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, which leverages public and private investments to develop and deploy innovative technologies that benefit both the environment and economic growth. Continue reading