If National Grid has its way, Massachusetts electricity customers will pay higher electricity and gas rates while benefiting from expanded energy efficiency programs that help them use less energy overall.
National Grid submitted a proposal to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to expand its energy efficiency programs by a factor of three between 2010 and 2012.
The energy retailer says that its plan would reduce energy use 2 percent by 2012 and help customers save $2 billion over the life of energy efficiency measures that are implemented, according to a press release.
To help customers achieve energy savings, National Grid wants to expand its electricity energy efficiency programs from the current $85 million to about $570 million in the three-year period between 2010 and 2012. Natural gas energy efficiency programs would go from $20 million now to nearly $200 million over those three years.
To support the programs, the typical residential customer using 500 kwh per month would see a $1.15 monthly increase, while natural gas customers using 82 therms a month would see a monthly hike of $3.25.
National Grid projects the aggregate savings as such:
– Electricity customers could save up to 1.2 million megawatt hours, or enough to power 150,000 homes for a year.
– Natural gas customers could save up to 33 million therms, or enough to run 33,000 homes for a year.
Other utilities are starting to tinker with their rates in order to meet energy efficiency and renewable energy goals.
For instance, Xcel Energy hopes to see wind energy benefit from a pilot program that would charge Boulder, Colo., utility customers more for using electricity during the peak hours of 2-8 p.m.
By shifting energy use from peak hours to the nighttime, more electricity could be utilized from wind power, which continues generating electricity into the night, whether the electricity is used or not.