Building a model that works across states and programs.
Gordon van Welie is the president and CEO of ISO New England Inc., the operator of the region’s bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets.
For more than two decades, the six New England states have made significant investments to advance energy efficiency in the region. State spending on energy efficiency (EE) in New England reaches hundreds of millions of dollars annually, with almost $1.2 billion spent on state-sponsored EE from 2008 through 2011. And it’s estimated that from 2015 through 2021, nearly $5.7 billion will be available to fund energy-efficiency programs.
Backed by the public policies that have spurred this financial commitment, energy efficiency comprises an increasingly important part of the New England electric energy resource mix. For 2015 to 2016, more than 1,500 MW of EE is committed to provide capacity, representing 4.5 percent of the region’s total power system requirement of 34,000 MW.
It’s clear that New England’s state-sponsored EE programs are having an effect on electricity usage in the region, but until recently the magnitude of the long-term impact wasn’t fully quantified. Rapid increases in EE investments have raised important questions about how to measure and incorporate the demand-reducing effect of these EE programs into the 10-year power system planning process. Since 2009, ISO New England, state regulators, and other regional stakeholders—including market participants with EE programs—have been working together intensively to find the answers.