CAPE LIGHT COMPACT LAUNCHES NEW THREE-YEAR ENERGY EFFICIENCY PLAN
Barnstable, MA – Consumers on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard are about to receive $128 million in energy efficiency services during the next three years. The funding is available as support for efficient light bulbs, new heating systems, insulation, and a host of other qualified improvements for residents and businesses. “For anyone interested in saving energy and money, this is a great opportunity,” said Margaret Downey, Cape Light Compact Administrator. “It also gives us an important way to take part in reducing emissions that contribute to climate change.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved the Compact’s new three-year plan on January 28 as part of a statewide efficiency plan. The statewide plan was also reviewed and supported by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the state Attorney General, and received high praise from Governor Charlie Baker. (See attached separate page of quotes regarding the statewide plan).
Funding for the plan primarily comes from state-mandated charges on monthly electric bills. The standard return is typically $3 saved for every $1 invested in efficiency measures. (See 2014 Benefit/Cost Table below). The plans are tracked and audited by the state every year.
“This is a very valuable re-investment of funds that consumers have paid for on their monthly bills,” Downey said. “Prior to formation of the Compact, money that was charged for energy efficiency was sometimes spent off-Cape. The Compact ensures that the funds collected here are used here.”
Downey said that much of the Compact plan for spending follows the joint state-wide program, “but in many ways we don’t have the same customer mix as other parts of the state and we are allowed to tailor some of our services to match the needs of local businesses and residents on the Cape and Vineyard.”
That means being able to offer expanded support for electric customers who may be living on fixed incomes. It also means support for renters who pay their own electric bills, and targeted services for specific types of businesses like small grocery stores, or those in the hospitality trade. It will also support a new demand response offering in which customers could be paid for reducing their electric use during peak periods, such as the hottest afternoons in the summer.
“We are especially excited about our new demand response offering,” Downey said. “It’s the start of building a new ‘smart’ electric industry in which consumers will have an increasing role.”
Prior to filing the plan, the Compact held four regional meetings and 27 community forums, including presentations to almost every board of selectmen and town council last summer and fall to gather public input for the plan. Downey said, “It was a good chance to have discussions and answer questions. People like the fact that as a region we have choices about how we target our spending.”
Since the Compact’s energy efficiency program began in 2001, the services it has delivered are expected to save the region’s consumers more than $600 million.
Under the last three-year plan for 2013-2015, the Compact changed out 15,700 of the streetlights in 19 towns to high-efficiency LED lights. This will result in region-wide savings of $800,000 annually on maintenance and electric costs. The Compact also assisted in high profile projects like the Falmouth Ice Arena that won recognition for being one of the most energy-efficient ice arenas in the nation. It also included “Main Street” programs for small businesses, and energy assessments for thousands of residential and business customers.
“For most people, energy efficiency is just about saving money on their monthly bills,” Downey said, “but reducing electric use has a larger effect. What we do as individuals is part of a larger picture that reduces the need for new power plants and decreases emissions.”
The goal of the plan is to save 1,691,761 megawatt hours of electricity over the lifetime of the measures, enough to power 106,438 homes for a year. Saving that amount of electricity avoids emissions of 1,166,555 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to taking 245,591 cars off the road. If you are someone who wants to do something about Climate Change, energy efficiency is a basic building block to our energy becoming cleaner.
“The three-year plan is part of our bridge to how we use electricity in the future. It offers a great opportunity for everyone,” Downey said. The first step to take advantage of the funds available is a phone call. “Everyone pays for this program on their electric bills, and we encourage them to call us and take advantage of the free energy assessments, to have their home or business evaluated and find out how they can start saving energy and money.”
The Cape Light Compact Energy Efficiency Program can be reached at: 1-800-797-6699.
Cape Light Compact 2014 Energy Efficiency Summary Benefits and Costs
|Residential||$19,142,877||$79,495,680||$4.15 avg. per $1 invested|
|Low-Income||$2,683,268||$8,525,932||$3.18 avg. per $1 invested|
|Commercial||$14,930,992||$51,024,323||$3.42 avg. per $1 invested|
|Total||$36,757,137||$139,045,935||$3.78 avg. per $1 invested|
ABOUT CAPE LIGHT COMPACT
Cape Light Compact is an award-winning energy services organization operated by the 21 towns and two counties on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The Compact’s mission is to serve its 200,000 customers through the delivery of proven energy efficiency programs, effective consumer advocacy, competitive electricity supply and green power options. For more information, visit www.capelightcompact.org.