CLF Calls for Innovation and Transparency in Energy Efficiency Programs

Recent report shows utilities are withholding critical data

March 14, 2018 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation, Green Justice Coalition, and 30 allied organizations sent a public comment letter to the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) today. It called for state energy efficiency programs to broaden their reach and operate with more transparency and accountability, starting with making basic data public. The letter draws from a recent Applied Economics Clinic report prepared for CLF that demonstrates stark inequities in the reach of these programs, and how little information is shared about who is being served.

“The least expensive energy is the energy you don’t use,” said CLF Attorney Amy Laura Cahn. “We have programs that could save everyone in our state money, but utilities aren’t making enough of an effort to reach middle-income families and renters and are not tracking their own progress in serving these groups. These are serious problems. But we have the chance to change course – it’s time for Massachusetts to stop resting on its laurels and move forward with energy efficiency.”

“For nearly 10 years now, grassroots groups have demonstrated how this large ratepayer investment fails to fairly benefit renters, non-English speakers and low-to-moderate income households,” said Andrea Nyamekye of Neighbor To Neighbor, a group that is active in cities like Lynn and Springfield and is a member of the statewide Green Justice Coalition. “The efficiency Program Administrators want us to pay in, but we are tired of them dancing around our longstanding concerns. We want transparency on where ratepayer funds are being spent, and the upcoming 3-Year Plan must include effective strategies to provide equitable access for these folks who need efficiency most.”

CLF plans to hold the utilities accountable for serving all of their customers when the draft of the upcoming statewide energy efficiency plan is released in April. In the meantime, residents are urged to attend the public EEAC listening sessions being held around Massachusetts.

You can find a copy of the letter here, and a copy of the report here.

CLF experts are also available for comment.