- Massachusetts regulators last month approved efficiency plans for 10 utilities, including the state's largest, National Grid, which expects its proposal to save consumers $3.6 billion.
- The efficiency plans cover 2016 to 2018, and during that time, National Grid plans to invest nearly $850 million in electric energy efficiency and more than $382 million in natural gas efficiency, according to a press release.
- In total, Smart Grid News reports the efficiency plans will create $8 billion in savings and benefits, and set the most aggressive targets in the country, including retail power sale reductions of almost 3% annually.
Efficiency plans approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities will save consumers $8 billion over the next three years, amounting to more than $20 billion in savings since the programs began in 2008, according to Smart Grid News.
In addition to bill savings, National Grid said it estimated that its programs will save 17.6 MW of electricity and more than 605 million therms of natural gas. "In terms of potential greenhouse gas pollution, that equates to taking more than 200,000 automobiles off the road," the utility said.
For residential customers, National Grid's plan includes a process to more directly market energy efficiency programs to renters; incentives for landlords to weatherize their entire buildings; and increased incentive for moderate income customers to weatherize their homes.
For commercial and industrial customers, the programs expanding the energy efficiency equipment eligible for incentives, providing a single point of contact for the owners of multi-family dwellings, and providing direct support from National Grid’s new construction staff in the design of high performance energy efficient buildings.
Last year, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) released a study that questioned the need for more natural gas pipeline capacity in New England, finding additional investment in demand response and efficiency is the cheapest and cleanest option to meet power demand. Two National Grid companies are pushing for the DPU to approve 20-year contracts for gas capacity on pipelines being developed in the state. Potential net present value of consumer benefits from the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) and Access Northeast pipelines amounts to nearly $11 billion, the companies said.