After a 13 year process, the Louisiana Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve a Final Rule with a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) model to administer robust statewide energy efficiency programs.
During that time, the LPSC has wrestled with how to invest in long-term energy savings for electric and gas utility customers. For the last 9 years, limited “Quick Start” programs have fallen drastically short in realizing the full potential of efficiency, focusing largely on things like lightbulbs, and allowing utilities to manage the programs.
The Commission’s new program creates a statewide administrator model allowing for coordination and collaboration with government organizations, businesses, professional and trade associations, to leverage work, reduce duplication, foster innovation, and efficiently deliver services in Louisiana. This will maximize opportunities for Louisiana families to access hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Under the Commission's“Quick Start” program, utilities like Entergy and Cleco have administered efficiency programs, which is directly at odds with their interests in selling electricity. The new TPA model will provide oversight and transparency, and remove the disincentive utilities have to promote energy savings.
“It was a long time coming, and Louisiana residents deserve energy savings and all the benefits that come with them. I look forward to working with the Commission to ensure the state’s efficiency programs reach the people who need them most. Winter or summer, these investments will improve lives across the state and save millions of dollars,” said AAE Executive Director, Logan Akinson Burke.
Commissioner Davante Lewis successfully offered an amendment to the final rule that set aside 25% of the energy savings for low-income program households and renters. In 2022, 150,016 households in the state struggled with utility bills that consumed around 27% of their income just to keep the lights on. This program will now direct funds to manage these expenses.
Finally, thanks to an amendment offered by Commissioner Craig Greene, the Commission also agreed to remove a long-challenged policy that has allowed utilities to recover revenues they say they “lost” because of efficiencies. For over a decade, the Alliance has argued that utilities in Louisiana shouldn’t be allowed to earn money on energy they never sold. The Commission has finally agreed.