The listening to established that Florida is the one state that makes use of archaic methodologies in setting energy effectivity targets. No surprise we’re virtually on the backside of state rankings on capturing energy financial savings for prospects.

George Cavros | August 19, 2019 | All, Energy Efficiency, Florida

Last week, attorneys at Earthjustice and I have been in Tallahassee on behalf of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and LULAC difficult the large power corporations’ zero, or close to zero energy effectivity targets. The state resets targets each 5 years – these targets dictate the dimensions of effectivity packages utilities will provide to laborious-working households and companies to assist them scale back energy use and get monetary savings on payments.

Zero, or close to-zero

In 2014, the goals were gutted by the Florida Public Service Commission – the company that regulates the state’s power corporations – this 12 months, lots of the power corporations want to bury energy efficiency as soon as and for all. Gulf, OUC, and JEA have proposed targets of zero. FPL has proposed a residential saving purpose that’s the equal of the energy use of 1 residence – successfully zero.

Florida is already well below the national average and even in the Southeast in offering alternatives to laborious-working households and companies to lower energy waste and get monetary savings on payments. The energy financial savings are achieved via energy effectivity packages, akin to offering rebates for upgrading an AC unit, or attic insulation that helps makes houses extra environment friendly, comfy and safe. All that disappears if zero, or close to zero targets are authorized.

That would lead to Florida’s laborious-working households and companies having unnecessarily increased payments – and extra air pollution from power vegetation that drives climate change.

The utilities are required by state law to assist prospects scale back energy use, partly as a result of it’s the least value useful resource obtainable to the utility. Why construct a expensive power plant when you’ll be able to meet demand at a fraction of the associated fee by decreasing demand and saving your prospects cash?

Plenty of Excuses

The power corporations gave testimony that was coordinated to ship a laundry checklist of excuses on the challenges of capturing energy financial savings for prospects.  For occasion, utility witnesses testified that future constructing codes and equipment requirements will captured vital energy financial savings. Yet, all states are topic to codes and requirements and most states are capturing a magnitude of instances extra energy financial savings for their prospects than Florida.

The cause Florida’s energy effectivity efficiency is abysmal was revealed on the listening to and in our testimony. It’s as a result of the power corporations have relied, and proceed to rely, on a price-effectiveness take a look at – referred to as the Rate Impact Measure Impact (RIM take a look at) – that counts misplaced income (prospects decreasing their energy use) as a price to the utility. Therefore, if an effectivity measure supplies vital energy financial savings to a household or a enterprise – it’s eradicated from the targets potential evaluation as being “not cost-effective.” Another manner the utilities “put their thumb on the scale” is by eliminating measures {that a} have a easy payback to prospects of 2 years or much less. These measures are especially important to low – average revenue households.

Florida is the one state that makes use of these archaic methodologies in setting energy effectivity targets. No surprise we’re virtually on the backside of state rankings on energy financial savings efficiency.

Huge Public Support

At the listening to, we have been bolstered by large public assist. Almost 4,000 feedback have been filed within the Commission dockets in assist of enhancing targets – with over 2,000 feedback being filed the primary day of the listening to! Plenty of municipalities have additionally filed resolutions and letters in assist of significant targets. The Commission had issued an order earlier within the month denying in-particular person public remark from prospects. That didn’t cease dozens of consumers from visiting Tallahassee and providing their comments straight to a court docket reporter – which Earthjustice filed within the dockets. They attended the primary day of the listening to and posed for an image with among the authorized staff.

Time to Evolve

Energy effectivity packages are extremely widespread as municipalities and customers are embracing clear energy and sustainable residing. The Florida Commission should cease the power corporations’ harmful retreat from reducing energy waste. Clearly, the methodologies Florida makes use of to set effectivity targets have out-lived their usefulness – how else are you able to clarify zero, or close to zero targets, when different states are committing to capturing magnitudes of instances extra financial savings than Florida?

Our briefs are due on September 20th, and the Commission is predicted to make a last resolution in early November. Stay tuned! In the meantime let the Commission know zero, or close to zero targets are not a purpose. File a comment here. The Commission should reject the abysmal utility-proposed targets and chart a brand new path for Florida – laborious working households, and future generations are relying on it.

 

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