LPSC Commissioner Eric Skrmetta recently responded to the national criticism he has received for repealing the Energy Efficiency rules in a blog post. This fact sheet seeks to highlight Skrmetta’s mistaken claims and the discrepancies between his response and facts behind the Energy Efficiency rules. View Skrmetta’s blog post here: http://thehayride.com/2013/03/skrmetta-why-we-dumped-the-lpscs-energy-efficiency-program/
Claim: $30 million was spent over 4 years for ‘unspecific purposes’ on Phase 1 of the Energy Efficiency program.
FACT: Phase I was a 2-year program with a detailed, specified spending plan. Skrmetta’s $30 million estimate does not exist anywhere in the LPSC staff’s calculations.
Claim: Phase II would be paid for by ratepayers and would have appeared as an additional charge on consumers’ bills.
FACT: The program is designed so that the savings from the program are larger than the cost! The public already pays for the increase in energy demand through their bills when utilities build new power plants. Instead, with energy efficiency, utility bills will pay for the reduction of energy demand and offset the need to build new power plants. This investment is significantly cheaper than building new plants. In the end, the program pays for itself and saves additional money!
Claim: Funding for Phase II of the program would be spent to hire third-party administrators, who would be given freedom to decide how to spend the money through ‘unknown mechanisms’.
FACT: The utilities have the option of hiring a program administrator. This option would save money because there are local companies such as CleaResult that specialize in running energy efficiency programs. The mechanism is very clear. There is a contract between the Utility and the Administrator and annual audits of how the money is spent.
Claim: These third party administrators will select high-efficiency appliances to advertise through your utility bill.
FACT: No brands or companies are advertised in utility bills in any jurisdiction.
Claim: There is no limit to the number of phases that would be sought.
FACT: The rules clearly outline a strictly 2-phase process. Phase I, the ‘quick start’ phase, is a small investment that enables the utilities to design, implement, and work out program bugs before Phase II. This process gives all the stakeholders time to work out issues like Utility compensation for lost revenue and how to treat large industrial users.
Claim: Participation in this program would be mandatory.
FACT: While it is true that this program is funded by utility bills, there is no requirement to make energy efficiency investments yourself. Participation is strictly voluntary.