The Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey approved Energy Efficiency and Conservation Rule 29, requiring electric and gas utilities to implement energy efficiency programs and standards under the Commission’s service jurisdiction. Rule 29 does not interfere with rate regulation and will apply to electric power associations also.
The new rule requires electric and gas utilities serving more than 25,000 customers to file Quick Start Plans with the Commission within six months. Quick Start Plans would include items such as customer education programs, energy audits and evaluations, rebates or other incentives on high-efficiency appliances, retrofitting homes and methods small businesses and industrial facilities can optimize energy efficiency.
The new service rule is intended to promote the efficient use and conservation of both electricity and natural gas.
All electric and gas utilities, regardless of size, must file Comprehensive Portfolio Plans with the Commission. Comprehensive Portfolio Plans would include a collection of energy efficiency programs that provide appropriate organizational resources including financial, technical, outreach, marketing, training and education support sufficient to achieve widespread implementation of all types of significant cost-effective improvements for customers. Plans must cover at least one year and may cover up to three years.
Electric and gas utilities will be required to file an annual performance report of their results including recommendations for expansion, alteration or elimination of programs. Commission approval will be required before implementation of any plan can take place.
In May, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law four pieces of energy efficiency legislation including ASHRAE 90.1-2010 building code requirements for commercial buildings and state-owned buildings.