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Energy Efficiency in the Northeast: Massachusetts Leads, New Jersey Lags

Linda Hardesty

A report from the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) finds that Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont lead in the northeast region in terms of advanced energy efficiency programs, while New Jersey, New Hampshire and Delaware lag.

NEEP has published its second-annual Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policy in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, a look at the biggest energy efficiency policy developments of 2012, with regional trends and challenges.

Expenditures on energy efficiency programs in New England, New York, and the Mid-Atlantic states are expected to climb to nearly $2.5 billion next year as a result of policy choices, tripling investment levels from six years ago.

The states with mature energy efficiency programs are now working on building energy codes, building rating, and appliance standards, while ensuring they complement and not compete with ratepayer-funded efficiency programs. They are also grappling with issues like how to serve customers who heat with unregulated fuels like oil and propane and therefore have limited or no access to thermal efficiency program assistance.

Trends to watch moving forward include aligning efficiency programs with demand response and distributed generation initiatives. Another issue is working with utility commissions to evolve their regulatory frameworks so they are better aligned with state public policy goals as well as the customer needs.

The Roundup provides analysis of some of the biggest building energy efficiency successes and setbacks in individual states from Maine to Maryland, including key energy efficiency laws and regulations, and changes in funding levels for energy efficiency programs.

In related news, a December 2012 report from ISO-New England found that energy efficiency programs in New England have alleviated the near-term need for $260 million in transmissions system upgrades. In June 2012, the Connecticut legislature established C-PACE specifically for the commercial and industrial property market.



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