This week, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission unanimously ruled in favor of energy efficiency in Xcel Energy’s rate case by keeping the monthly customer charge flat moving forward. Fresh Energy partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy to intervene as Clean Energy Organizations in the case.
Today, Fresh Energy filed expert testimony in Otter Tail Power’s current rate case at the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), proposing a full revenue decoupling mechanism that could improve energy conservation investments for consumers. Otter Tail Power had proposed increasing the monthly customer charge from $8.50 to $13.30. This monthly charge is largely seen as discouraging energy conservation and energy efficiency because customers will pay the same amount no matter how much energy they use. Fresh Energy instead put forward a decoupling proposal that would help address Otter Tail Power’s concerns around stable revenue streams while allowing for substantial energy efficiency efforts and cost savings by the utility and its customers
Ben joined Fresh Energy in June of 2016 as a senior policy associate on the energy performance team, leading the organization’s work on energy efficiency related to building performance. We are thrilled to have Ben on the Fresh Energy team driving our efforts to maximize building efficiency through organization’s policy development and advocacy, legislative engagement, and communications work.
Minnesota regulators have denied an increase to CenterPoint Energy’s monthly fixed charge, instead pointing to the company’s current decoupling policy as the best way to balance revenue requirements with energy savings.
A recent article published in the Electricity Journal, co-authored by Fresh Energy and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), shows that utilities with decoupling policies are putting more money into energy efficiency and achieving greater energy savings.
Big picture thinking can mean big savings for our energy system. That was the take away from today’s Power Pairings breakfast featuring Ken Smith of Ever-Green Energy and Katie Fernholz of Dovetail Partners.