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American households face electricity and heating bills that have spiked beyond their ability to pay, driven by volatile global fossil gas prices, Russia’s war on Ukraine, inflation and ever-rising energy needs fueled by climate catastrophe. Meanwhile, private utilities cushion themselves from this financial blow by raising household energy bills.
As this report shows, profit-driven utilities continue to cut off families’ basic human right to electricity and heat millions of times a year while returning billions of dollars to their shareholders and executives. From 2020 to 2022, utilities in just 30 states and Washington, D.C. shutoff households over 5.7 million times. Last year more than 20% of families couldn’t afford their energy bill. The rate was 50% higher for households of color.
How does Louisiana stack up? Well we don't know because Louisiana doesn't require utilities to disclose disconnections data, even during the pandemic! We need transparency, a ban on shutoffs, and renewable & just energy.
Learn more in this report: bit.ly/PowerlessInTheUS
Clean Energy Group (CEG), in partnership with American Microgrid Solutions, has released a new report examining the opportunity for resilient solar+storage (solar PV paired with battery storage) to provide backup power for cooling centers during power outages resulting from extreme heat. The report specifically focuses on how solar+storage can be adopted in underserved communities. Included in the report are results from 7 case studies which investigate the feasibility of implementing solar+storage in critical community facilities across the country.
Although the assessment outcomes varied across the different facilities, there were clear trends identified in the study:
Download the report here.
The report found that customer-sited battery storage is by far the lowest priced new winter peaking resource now available to Massachusetts utilities.
Winter electric peaking capacity (called “winter reliability” in New England) provides an important value to the electric grid by helping to avoid winter blackouts. As heating and transportation are increasingly electrified to meet climate goals, winter peak energy needs will grow; and as fossil-fueled generators are phased out due to emissions caps, new, clean sources of winter peaking capacity will need to be found.
Although winter peaking capacity has traditionally been provided by gas and oil peaking generators (peaker plants), it can also be provided by cleaner, “behind-the-meter” customer resources such as battery storage.
Currently, this service is undervalued in the Massachusetts programs that provide battery customers with performance payments to supply power back to the grid at times of high demand. These customer performance payments should be adjusted to reflect the true value of winter electric peaking capacity in the region
Download the report here.
Press Release: The Center for Biological Diversity and BailoutWatch released Powerless in the Pandemic, a report showing that some of the nation’s top utilities received a collective $1.25 billion from last year’s government bailouts while shutting off families’ electric service nearly 1 million times.
The report shows that utilities wielded political power to secure beneficial tax-code changes in the CARES Act but defied calls to grant their own customers temporary relief. Instead, 16 utilities suspended or canceled electric service to nearly 1 million households between February 2020 and June 2021, leaving people without hot water, refrigeration, air conditioning and medical devices.
“It’s appalling that utility companies cut power to countless families throughout the pandemic while raking in taxpayer bailout money,” said Jean Su, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s energy justice program. “This greedy, heartless practice hurts low-wealth communities and communities of color most of all. It needs to stop. Complicit state regulators who fail to make shutoff data public should stop cowering and start shedding light on utilities’ bad behavior.”
Other key findings:
Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon seeks to uplift the work of countless Tribal Nations, Indigenous water protectors, land defenders, pipeline fighters, and many other grassroots formations who have dedicated their lives to defending the sacredness of Mother Earth and protecting their inherent rights of Indigenous sovereignty and self- determination.
In this report, they demonstrate the tangible impact these Indigenous campaigns of resistance have had in the fight against fossil fuel expansion across what is currently called Canada and the United States of America. More specifically, they quantify the metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions that have either been stopped or delayed in the past decade due to the brave actions of Indigenous land defenders. Adding up the total, Indigenous resistance has stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual U.S. and Canadian emissions.
Download the report here.
As the temperature drops and we cozy in with our heaters going, those electric bills are going back up, but how does your bill in Baton Rouge compare with those in Shreveport? Where does New Orleans rank? Well, look no further than this handy-dandy spreadsheet! The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) compiles monthly bills from just about every electric utility across the state based on kWh usage. This spreadsheet is updated monthly, using the tabs at the bottom, making it easy to track changes. Whether that’s a new power plant going online, or hurricane charges rolling off, you can see how it all adds up.
We’ve posted the spreadsheets from 2019, 2020, 2021 and we will continue to update those as the year goes on. AND, once we get a little free time on our hands, we plan to dive into some of those bill components! Why does Entergy have so many ‘riders’? What is a ROE, and why is Cleco’s so high? Stay tuned friends, in the meantime you can read up on Why Utility Rate Design is So Hot Right Now.
The AAE Consumer Protection Report focuses on the best and worst practices of consumer protections provided by utility companies. These protections are essential for low income and minority households that struggle to meet the economic burden of rising utility costs.
The report compares seven State’s consumer protections with what the National Consumer Law Center recommends for such protections, with a special focus on Louisiana. Specifically, the report focuses on seven consumer protections: weather, critical medical conditions, elderly and handicap, veterans, service disconnection restrictions, social service payment customers, and miscellaneous protections. Additionally, for convenience, all State consumer protections have been added to the end of each section in a chart.
After analyzing each category, AAE believes that significant reform is needed to meet the National Consumer Law Center’s base-line recommendations. Ultimately, when considering the vulnerability of many Louisiana residents, stronger protections are needed to ensure families are protected from the disproportionate economic and health impacts associated with disconnections.
Download the report here! Download the spreadsheet here.
The Initiative on Climate Risk & Resilience Law has published an Electric Resilience Toolkit, a compilation of reports describing how electric companies can “engage in the process of climate resilience planning” and how resilience planning can be legally enforced to ensure “reliable service at just and reasonable rates.” Electricity infrastructure is at high risk from the impacts of climate change, which has significant implications for utilities and customers alike. Resilience planning involves assessing these risks and developing plans to “reduce vulnerabilities.” Preparing for future climate impacts is vital to ensure our lights stay on and to keep electric and gas rates affordable; utilities are legally obligated to take all measures necessary to achieve this.
Ratemaking and resilience planning proceedings take place at the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC), and anyone can monitor and get involved.
From 2015 to 2019, the energy efficiency sector became one of the biggest, fastest-growing, and most beneficial sectors for both our economy and our environment. The EE workforce was projected to grow 3% in 2020. Instead, it shrank 13.5%. The Energy Efficiency sector continues to be impacted by COVID-19 and the related economic slowdown, with over 320,000 skilled and valued workers still jobless in this historically fast-growing industry. Check out the full report for details in all 50 states and DC.
Energy Efficiency Jobs in America provides an in-depth look at the industry that still employs over two million Americans and has vast potential for growth. Energy efficiency addresses the public health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, while tackling climate change and saving money. Efficiency & weatherization can reduce energy costs by 25%. Furthermore, Efficiency is the most cost-effective solution to reduce emissions in the power sector and can account for nearly half of emissions reductions needed.
View a brief summary and see previous versions here.
The report provides new data for all states on:
How does EE compare in Louisiana? Energy efficiency is the third largest energy sector in Louisiana. However, it was heavily impacted by COVID-19. Louisiana’s energy efficiency industry lost as many as 5,335 jobs since its onset, a 22.9% decrease compared to total jobs in December 2019—wiping out the last 3 years of gains. The energy efficiency workforce has the skills and expertise to meet this moment. Historically the Louisiana EE workforce grew steadily, gaining 18.3% since 2016. As the U.S. advances our economic recovery, policy solutions must create conditions to return to work laid- off/furloughed EE workers and to create a pathway for new workers to join this vital sector.
Gas stoves are likely exposing tens of millions of people to levels of indoor air pollution that would be illegal under outdoor air quality standards. Due to a lack of regulations, this problem is largely going undetected, making people more susceptible to respiratory health risks. That’s the finding of a new report released from Rocky Mountain Institute, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Mothers Out Front, and the Sierra Club.
The report, Health Effects from Gas Stove Pollution, summarizes two decades of health research, and finds that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside, due in part to nitrogen dioxide emissions and other pollutants coming from gas stoves.
The report’s key findings include:
MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) provides open-access transmission service and monitors the high-voltage transmission system throughout the Midwest United States and Canada.
This presentation discusses how the MISO region has adequate reserves to meet its 136 GW Planning Reserve Requirement. MISO's RA construct combines regional and local criteria to achieve a least-cost solution for the region. Check out the presentation to learn more about auction clearing prices, PRA results by zone, changes since the 2019 Auction, and the next steps!
Download the presentation here!
This presentation outlines the history of utilities in New Orleans and Louisiana, from the incorporation of Southwestern Brush Electric Light & Power Company (the first company to generate and distribute electricity in New Orleans) in 1881 to NOPSI's beginning in 1926. The presentation concludes by taking a look at NOPSI rates of return, average bill prices, and electricity rates over time.
The presentation also briefly examines the history of New Orleans utility regulatory control and summarizes the office of the inspector general 2015 report investigating utility regulatory control in New Orleans.
View the presentation here!
This report provides a detailed understanding of how power outages hinder the New Orleans community, provides solutions that can be undertaken by individuals, businesses, and cities as a whole, places these solutions into the context of current efforts to reduce outages and improve energy efficiency in New Orleans, and suggests how we move forward from here.
Link to Downloadable Version: Power Outages in NOLA
The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and the Alliance for Affordable Energy (AAE) have publicly released a health impact assessment (HIA) about the proposed replacement of the Michoud natural gas power plant located in New Orleans East. A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a valuable tool to help guide conversations about issues that may affect public health, that might not otherwise take these issues into account. It includes unintended impacts and community engagement to ensure all stakeholders affected by an issue are given a voice.
As the first completed HIA on energy production to be released in the Gulf South, New Orleans continues to lead the way as energy policies evolve and become more transparent to and inclusive of the communities they impact.
WalletHub.com, an online personal finance resource, has released a study ranking the least & most energy-expensive states. These rankings are based on the average energy consumption of each state and the average cost of four common energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil (a refined petroleum based product).
How did Louisiana rank in 2015? Click here to find out!
Demand Side Management (DSM) is any initiative or program seeking to reduce consumer demand for electricity. This report summarizes types of DSM programs and the best practices within those programs. The report takes a close look at Demand Response (DR), a type of DSM program or initiative to shift energy usage to off-peak times.
Check out the report here to find out more about DSM and DR Programs for you!
This report provides an analysis of the benefits and consequences of: either maintaining regulation on the electricity market in the state of Louisiana or constructing a deregulated market.
Download the PDF here to find out more about the history of differing markets (in California, Texas, and Pennsylvania) and the future of regulation and deregulation!
In the on-going Entergy New Orleans (“ENO”) rate case, the City Council has adopted Resolution No. R-16-03, which required ENO to submit a proposal for a decoupling pilot program. ENO submitted a proposal for a Formula Rate Plan (“FRP”) to the Council and asserted that this Plan included the required decoupling mechanism. However, the Plan proposed by ENO falls short of the requirements agreed upon by the Council.
Check out this one-pager summary here to learn about decoupling and how it relates to this important rate case!
In this issue - a year's overview, last year's numbers & statistics, and a shoutout to our allies.
A Look at What We've Been Up To:
Read more about What We've Been Up To here!
This report summarizes the state of Louisiana's regulated energy market, the utility business model, and how Louisiana ranks in terms of energy policy. Louisiana is an Energy State. Yet unfortunately, Louisiana consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to energy policy.
Fortunately, AAE also highlights areas for energy policy improvements. The report focuses on the importance of energy efficiency, residential solar, and net metering.
View the report here to learn more!
The goal of Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan is to create a Resilient Coastal Economy. The coast’s intrinsic value, as a working coast, home to millions of citizens, and natural habitats makes it one of the nation’s most unique and valuable landscapes.
What’s At Stake
Download Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan here.
Learn more about Louisiana's Working Coast here!
Download the 2017 Coastal Master Plan Project Development Program. The PDF includes information on the types of projects that can be proposed for the 2017 Coastal Master Plan, screening guidelines, and submittal details.
The Alliance for Affordable Energy has taken an in-depth look into Entergy outages, reliability, and resilience for all of New Orleans.
This paper aims to clarify the distinctions among
1) regular outages that are currently impacting the city,
2) potential reliability concerns related to future demands on the system, and
3) resilience in the face of storms, and to highlight connections among various Council energy decisions.
You can read more in our whitepaper: New Orleans has been Kept in the Dark
This document is intended to consolidate ideas and provide a preliminary literature review for the team that will ultimately conduct the full HIA on the potential health risks and benefits of installing solar panels and energy efficiency measures on homes and businesses in New Orleans. Its aim is to guide city leaders into making the best energy choices for their constituents based on the most favorable outcome economically, environmentally, and to the people’s collective health.
Read about the findings of Olivia's Preliminary HIA here!
Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined City and State officials and community stakeholders to unveil New Orleans’ climate action strategy, Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans , a strategic road map for the City of New Orleans to combat climate change. Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans proposes 11 strategies and 25 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030. At the event, Mayor Landrieu signed an Executive Order to adopt Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans as guiding policy and to commit to the principles and goals of the Paris Agreement. The strategy will help New Orleans become a more equitable, adaptable and prosperous place for all of its residents as the city approaches its tricentennial in 2018.
Link to Downloadable Version: Climate Action PDF
Access to utility services should be a universal human right. No person should live in fear that utility shutoff may leave them in a dangerous or potentially disastrous situation. This report examines the shortcomings of existing state policies, highlights the disproportionate discriminatory impact utility shutoff policies have on socially vulnerable utility customers, and calls & outlines steps for concrete action toward establishing policies that protect the well-being of all utility customers and the eventual ELIMINATION OF UTILITY DISCONNECTIONS.
These policies and protections include:
There are multiple stakeholders who may have competing interests regarding disconnection policies that must be considered when endeavoring to reform the utility system to solve the problems faced by those who experience utility disconnections. Check out the NAACP's Report, Lights out in the Cold - Reforming Utility Shutoff Policies as a Human Rights Matter to learn more about the need for uninterrupted service, the complexities of regulating utility disconnection services, and policy & program opportunities for financing to reduce and eliminate disconnections.
In this issue - a note from our Executive Director, Summary of Successes, Policy Update, Partner Spotlight, Funding & Expenses, Leadership & Staff, a thank you to our donors.
Download the report here!
This first Annual Report Card documents HousingNOLA's work, provides an honest assessment of citywide efforts to address housing issues, and charts the path to a more equitable city. It also documents the vision, frustrations and hopes of the community members who guide this process.
Link to Downloadable Version: 2016 Annual Report Card
Prior regulators and industry insiders came together, with the interest of outlining a framework that illustrates the best practice of policy and procedures that can be applied to general circumstances of electricity regulation in the United States. This book was made to educate fellow regulators and stakeholders, advocates of consumer rights, the environment and more, but even utilities themselves. This book does not aim to support any specific political positions, but rather to strives to highlight the most effective policy, and achieve the best outcomes for all involved.
Download and Read a PDF Version here!
This report is provided to the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) as the review of the first year of Quick Start Energy Efficiency programs for the SWEPCO Louisiana service territory. Pursuant to LPSC Docket No. R-31106, this report is filed at 30 months in the timeline for implementation of Quick Start Energy Efficiency Programs.
This report has two sections:
Scores are based on six key policy areas: utility-sector energy efficiency, building energy codes, transportation efficiency, state-led initiatives, combined heat and power, and appliance and equipment standards.
Unfortunately Louisiana’s ranking slipped several positions. Louisiana ranked 48th overall in Energy Efficiency for 2015.
Link to Downloadable Version: Louisiana Energy Efficiency Scorecard, 2015
HousingNOLA was facilitated, and then later incubated by the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance. Since 2015, HousingNOLA has grown into a platform to link community members and neighbors with policymakers, developers, and others who are shaping the face of New Orleans. As a result of this effort, HousingNOLA crafted the city’s first-ever 10-Year Strategy and Implementation Plan.
With the implementation plan now in place, HousingNOLA continues to facilitate opportunities for:
Link to downloadable version: HousingNOLA 10-Year Strategy and Implementation Plan
CLECO Power, an electric utility serving 284,000 Louisiana residents, could be taken over by a consortium of foreign investment groups. AAE's report on the CLECO Takeover provides a detailed analysis of the proposed takeover and why it is a bad deal for Louisiana.
Read the Alliance’s report here to see what this would mean for CLECO customers.
The New Orleans Geological Society proposes the oil and gas industry assess its costal infrastructure in southeast Louisiana. This is a proposal to assess the impacts of relative sea level rise due to subsidence using industry knowledge base, data, and technology.
Some of the most vital infrastructure of the oil and gas industry is located in the major port facilities along the southeast Louisiana coast, and it is likely to be impacted by the progression of subsidence and rising sea level in the coming decades.
Link to downloadable version: NOGS- Faulting and Subsidence in Coastal Louisiana
Gabel Associates has been retained by The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) to provide an independent analysis of Acadian Consulting Group’s Report, “Estimating the Impact of Net Metering on LPSC Jurisdictional Ratepayers,” dated September 23, 2015.
Read this analysis of Acadian Consulting's "Cost and Benefit of Solar" report.
Link to Downloadable Version: Gabel Analysis of the Acadian Report Net Metering
Baton Rouge, LA – The Alliance for Affordable Energy has released a report that studies the relationship between Louisiana’s monopoly utility companies and the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC), the elected government agency that is charged with regulating these monopolies. The paper found a problematic relationship and “regulatory capture” of the governmental body as a result of campaign finance, among other procedural issues.
Link to downloadable version: Money, Politics, and the Business of Monopolies
The Alliance offers recommendations following the research conducted, including:
2014-2015 was the first year of the Quick Start Energy Efficiency Program for Entergy Gulf States LA, LLC (EGSL) and Entergy LA, LLC (ELL).
Pursuant to LPSC General Order No. R‐31106 (EE General Order), Entergy Louisiana (ELL) is providing this report for the first program year of Quick Start Energy Efficiency programs implemented in the legacy Entergy Gulf States Louisiana (EGSL) service area between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015 (PY1). The report includes a narrative overview containing program descriptions, activity, kWh savings, participation, and trainings.
Link to Downloadable Version: Entergy EE 2014-2015 Annual Report
Energy Smart is Entergy New Orleans' flagship energy efficiency program. It provide Entergy customers in New Orleans with a wide range of energy efficiency options.
Link to downloadable version: Energy Smart 2014 Annual Report
This report details exactly what urban resiliency is, especially how it applies to sustainable urban development in the coming years. How can resilient communities come together to create a resilient city, using this framework to begin solving the environmental, economic and social issues plaguing urban centers today?
Read here to find out!
In this issue - A letter from the CEO, meet our board and staff, learn about our programs, a policy update, and a financial breakdown of the year.
In the policy update:
Download our Annual Report here!
The Alliance for Affordable Energy is a strong supporter of equitable, effectively implemented solar leasing.
In 2012, we received complaints from ratepayers, solar installers, and local utilities about two companies that offered leasing agreements, Sader Power and Green Grants. The complaints made against the companies warranted examination. Because the Alliance’s mission is to protect ratepayers, we launched an investigation to discern the validity of the claims, in an effort to ensure that ratepayers were not being harmed.
Download and read our report: Louisiana Solar Leasing Report
This is the 6th annual report as required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The report assesses electricity demand response resources and advanced metering with an emphasis on results, activities, and regulatory actions taken over the last year.
The report found:
Read here to find out more!
In this issue - A letter from the board President, an update on the Energy Smart Program, a push for a Renewable Portfolio Standard for LA, a win for the “Say No to Coal, Say Yes to Clean Energy” coalition - work suspended on the Little Gypsy Plant, the Louisiana Green Corps Workforce Training Program and a Testimony from Jordan Walters, our new website, and a shoutout to our new staff and partners.
Download and read our report: Smart Ideas
A report for the Louisiana State Legislature to fulfill House Concurrent Resolution 74, Regular Session, 1996. This report reviews evidence for Global Climate Change from the IPCC Report and examines five areas of risk for Louisiana - extreme weather, human health, agriculture, forestry, and coastal impacts. The report outlines and examines policy solutions and actions that could reduce or mitigate this risk. While many of these solutions take a step in the right direction towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reports released more recently have raised the bar, highlighting problems with some of these ideas and suggesting better avenues to pursue. The report's focus on promoting natural gas, nuclear, and biomass energy (without limitations) are key missteps. However, many of their other suggestions including reducing overall energy demand, increasing energy efficiency, and promoting renewable energy are still viable.
A view from the 90s: Check out the report to learn about the outlook on opportunities for improvement and growth in the Energy Sector and the Study Group's conclusions and recommendations for actions to address climate related risks in Louisiana.
Downloadable PDF of report
Link to online version of report