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RE: Energy Conservation Incentives from Electric Companies

There’s a fair amount going on with electric and natural gas rate decoupling and related utility regulatory approaches to try to even (or at least reduce the tilt of) the playing field between investing in energy efficiency and in new supply.


In Virginia a bill was passed last year regarding natural gas utility rate decoupling.  There’s at least one bill before our General Assembly this year on electric utility ratemaking and incentives for utility energy efficiency investment (I don’t know the bill[s] status). Rick Y. mentioned our neighbors in MD. I recall that in our southern neighbor, NC, Duke Energy was proposing to the utility commission that efficiency be regarded as a “fifth fuel” (alongside coal, gas, nuclear, and renewables)—I don’t know the status of that proceeding.


The Regulatory Assistance Project www.raponline.org has done a lot of work on this topic as well as other electric utility issues, such as demand response, distributed generation, green pricing, utility restructuring, and integrated resource planning.  The following links to numerous decoupling-related papers and presentations (also see the drop-down menu on that page for RAP items on related subjects):



I hope this is useful.




Rodney Sobin
Office of Remediation Programs
Virginia Department
of Environmental Quality
Postal: P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218-1105

Street:  629 E. Main St., Richmond, VA 23219-2429
Tel. 804-698-4382      

DEQ Innovative Technology
DEQ Distributed Energy Resources