Rhode Island's Energy Savings Plan to Give Economy $1.2 Billion Boost

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Rhode Island, a state with some of the most aggressive energy savings programs in the country, has no intention of slowing down under a new three-year plan.

The state Public Utilities Commission recently approved annual savings targets of as much as 2.6 percent for electricity and 1.1 percent for natural gas from 2015-2017.

The savings could boost the state’s economy by $1.2 billion and save enough power for 43,000 homes, according to Environment Northeast, which played a key role in setting the targets as a member of the state’s Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council.RI energy savings targets

“With this decision, Rhode Island has renewed its commitment to investing in energy efficiency as the cleanest, lowest cost energy resource available,” said Abigail Anthony, ENE Rhode Island director.

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Rhode Island has been aggressively pursuing energy savings since 2006 when it created its energy efficiency resource standard. It ranked sixth nationally last year in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s annual state scorecard.

In its last three-year energy efficiency plan, which covered 2009-2012, Rhode Island invested $130 million in electric efficiency and $26 million in natural gas efficiency. The programs cost about 2 to 5 cents/kWh and yielded $720 million in net energy benefits to customers, communities, and the state, according to EERMC.

More details about the next three-year plan will become available Sept. 1 when National Grid files its ‘Least Cost Procurement’ plan with the PUC. The plan shows how the utility will follow the state’s efficiency first law. Specifically, National Grid must select any energy saving measures that are less expensive than electricity or natural gas first to meet its energy portfolio needs. National Grid serves almost all of the electricity customers in the state.

The EEMRC report on the 2015-2017 targets is here.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com and EnergyEfficiencyMarkets.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.