In an unparalleled move to dramatically reduce energy use in Massachusetts, a coalition of the Commonwealth's leading energy-efficiency providers is unveiling a three-year plan to deliver services to residents and businesses that will ultimately net more than US$4 billion in energy savings. If the plan is approved, the coalition will begin offering an increased level of services to their customers in 2010.
The coalition, made up of Massachusetts utilities NSTAR, National Grid, Western Massachusetts Electric, New England Gas, Unitil, Berkshire Gas, Bay State Gas, Blackstone Gas and the municipal aggregator Cape Light Compact, drafted the plan in response to the Green Communities Act (GCA), landmark energy legislation signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick. The act calls for the Commonwealth's energy-efficiency program administrators to develop a statewide plan to meet energy demand by first investing in energy-efficiency and demand reduction before purchasing new energy supply. The GCA, along with the Global Warming Solutions Act and the Green Jobs Act, sets Massachusetts on a path to becoming a worldwide leader in developing the green economy.
In keeping with the acts, the enhanced energy-efficiency plan filed by the coalition provides innovative new programs for electricity and natural gas customers across Massachusetts. The program administrators met collaboratively to determine appropriate goals and budgets to allow for deeper and broader levels of savings at customer homes and businesses. The plan calls for a savings of close to 2.5 million MWh of electricity and roughly 45 million therms of natural gas over the three year period. The corresponding reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions would be the equivalent of taking nearly 40% of the cars off the road in Massachusetts today. The plan also calls for the creation of 4000 jobs in the Commonwealth's clean energy sector.
Historically, Massachusetts' award-winning energy-efficiency programs have consistently saved consumers far-more energy dollars than they have cost. The reach of these programs, which offer a host of savings options, including energy audits, equipment rebates and low-interest financing, will be greatly enhanced by the new plan. With a cost of $1.8 billion and projected energy savings of $6 billion, the net savings to consumers will be more than $4 billion.
The plan will be reviewed by the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, an advisory board of energy-efficiency stakeholders established by the GCA. The council will make a recommendation to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities with respect to the plan by July 31. Coalition members will submit individual three-year plans to the DPU in October 2009 for implementation in the period from 2010 through December 2012.