Friday, June 19, 2015 -
9:00am to 12:30pm
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Foley Hoag LLP, 155 Seaport Boulevard, 13th Floor, Boston

New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable

Register HERE to attend in person
Register HERE to live-stream (or to watch on-demand starting 6/22)

Next Wave of State Energy Efficiency Plans in New England; and Sustainable Rate Design for a Modern Grid

Panel I:  Next Wave of State Energy Efficiency Plans in New England

New England states are in the process of rolling out their next generation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs. These plans will define the roadmaps for energy efficiency in New England for the foreseeable future. On April 30th, Massachusetts' energy efficiency program administrators released their 668 page first draft of the 2016-2018 Energy Efficiency Plan for the Commonwealth. New England states have seen substantial success in recent years with their energy efficiency programs - flattening electricity load growth while making great strides in gas and even some non-regulated fuel-related efficiency improvements. These successes have been nationally-recognized, with ACEEE ranking four New England states in the top six states nationwide, and all six NE states placing in the top twenty-two. But what will the next wave of state energy plans bring to the region?

We have assembled an excellent panel to discuss these issues. Newly-appointed Massachusetts DOER Commissioner Judith Judson is also the Chair of the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council. She will discuss the process to finalize the three-year plans in Massachusetts as well as the Administration's initial observations about the draft plan. Eversource Chief Customer Officer & Senior VP, Penni McLean-Conner, and Director of Program Strategy at National Grid, Carol White, will present high-level details of the draft Massachusetts 2016-18 energy efficiency plan. They will also discuss their companies' energy efficiency plans in Connecticut and Rhode Island, respectively. Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) Executive Director, Sue Coakley will conclude the panel by discussing energy efficiency related trends across all the Northeast states (which NEEP follows closely) and teasing out some of the important challenges and opportunities going forward.

Panel II: Sustainable Rate Design for a Modern Grid

With the expected maturation of the distribution grid to enable two-way power flow that integrates a bevy of distributed energy resources and systems (including PV, storage, demand response, EE, EVs, smart thermostats/appliances, CHP, microgrids, etc.), how will rate designs evolve to be able to 1) fairly compensate distributed resources for the value they provide to the grid; 2) fairly compensate distribution companies for the value that grid services provide customers; and 3) fairly distribute the costs and benefits of a modern grid among all customers? The Net Metering Task Force in Massachusetts released its final report (also on April 30th), which calls for conducting a comprehensive and transparent solar benefit/cost study to determine the value and impact of solar in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, across the country, utilities, stakeholders, and regulators are exploring ways to significantly modify rate-making, including reallocating costs from variable to fixed charges, moving toward time variable rates, having minimum bills, and even introducing demand charges for residential customers. In a modern grid, likely chock-full of distributed energy resources, what will a sustainable rate design look like?

To lead off this panel, Richard Sedano, Principal at the Regulatory Assistance Project will discuss RAP's forthcoming study on exactly this topic-customer rate-making for the grid of the future. Brattle Principal Dr. Ahmad Faruqui, well-known in New England for his advocacy of time variable rates, will discuss recent research and work that Brattle has been doing on increasing fixed charges and introducing demand charges for residential and other customers. Shaun Chapman, VP for Policy and Electricity Markets at SolarCity will share his perspective on net metering and potential future rate-making paradigms that can fairly support an active PV industry. In addition to its role as the largest solar provider in the U.S., SolarCity is a close partner with Tesla, which just last week unveiled its new home battery "Powerwall," designed to support and integrate with PV systems. Rounding out the panel, John Howat, Senior Energy Analyst at the National Consumer Law Center, will provide a consumer perspective on the range of proposed rate design alternatives. In addition to advocating for low-income ratepayers for NCLC, John is also the national Coordinator of Consumer Advocates for the Fixed Charge Network.

Contact Name: 

Susan Rivo

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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