Massachusetts Approves Utility Efficiency Plans

February 02, 2010

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities gave final approval on January 29 to plans committing the state's investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities to a three-year agenda of savings for consumers. The plans could save customers more than $6 billion over three years, according to backers. Under provisions of the state's Green Communities Act, signed into law in 2008, the state's investor-owned electric and gas utilities were required to prepare energy efficiency plans that use all available energy efficiencies and reduce resources.

The Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, which was created by the act, approved the three-year efficiency plans last fall.

This week, the Department of Public Utilities approved plans that call for utilities to invest approximately $2.2 billion in efficiency measures over three years. Funding for the programs will include existing charges on ratepayer bills along with carbon allowance auction proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Types of programs and services offered under the plans include improved energy assessments of ratepayers' homes, and incentives for purchase and installation of high efficiency lighting, appliances, heating and air conditioning, and insulation. A similar set of natural efficiency gas plans, costing $480 million over three years, are expected to yield $1.1 billion for consumers. See the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs January 29 press release.