New Plan proposes innovative ways to increase energy savings and community resiliency while reducing Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard’s carbon footprint.
South Yarmouth, MA – Cape Light Compact, in conjunction with the seven electric and gas utility companies of Massachusetts, submitted the next Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan (Plan) to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on October 31, 2018. This Plan will lay the scope and vision for energy efficiency programs across the state from 2019-2021.
In the Plan, Cape Light Compact proposes a series of program enhancements that are designed to help Cape and Vineyard residents save energy and money. One of the most exciting components of the plan is the Cape and Vineyard Electrification Offering (CVEO). CVEO looks to pair solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity with battery storage and cold climate heat pumps. The goal of this offering is to convert 700 oil, propane, and electric resistance heat customers over three years. The program will offer tiered incentives based on income level: Income Eligible (up to 60% of State Median Income), Moderate Income (61-80% of Area Median Income (AMI)) and Extended Moderate Income (81%-120% AMI).
The benefits of this program are extensive. The combination of battery storage with PV panels provides coastal resiliency; in the event that the grid is down due to a winter storm, residents may be able to use their heat and shelter in place. Additionally, the program will allow residents to begin transitioning away from fossil fuels and inefficient heating systems, such as electric resistance heat. Cape Light Compact’s Board Chair, Joyce Flynn, stated, “There is no region of Massachusetts that needs reliable electricity more than we do, given our coastal exposure to Nor’easters and hurricanes. With the new demonstration model including PV and battery storage, the Compact is taking a giant step toward both greener and more reliable electricity for the Cape and the Vineyard.”
The concept for this program was a result of changes in the Green Communities Act that occurred this year. The changes encourage cost-effective energy storage and other active demand management technologies. The changes also authorize cost-effective strategic electrification programs, switching to cold climate heat pumps.
In addition, Cape Light Compact is exploring a home energy report which would provide residents an understanding of how their energy consumption compares to similar homes in their area. The report could help residents with high bills target areas where they could be saving electricity and ultimately, money.
The focus of the Plan also covers offerings to Cape and Vineyard business. The Compact will continue to offer the Business Energy Audit and a core offering of deemed savings measures, many of which can be installed in the first visit, some at up to 100% incentive coverage. For its small business customers, the Compact continues to offer higher incentives for standard direct install measures (up to 100% rather than up to 70% as offered in the Statewide Plan).
The Compact will continue offering up to 100% incentive for all cost-effective measures for up to 100 (first come, first serve) non-profit corporations on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The Compact Governing Board will be finalizing participation criteria once the Plan is approved.
In late 2017 and early 2018, Cape Light Compact conducted a series of 12 stakeholder meetings with a total of 114 attendees to solicit input from Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard residents and businesses on the 2019-2021 Energy Efficiency Plan. Customer feedback was presented to the Cape Light Compact Governing Board for their consideration and incorporation into the 2019-2021 Energy Efficiency Plan.
This fall, following the initial draft of the Plan, Cape Light Compact held three public information sessions and presented at all the Cape and Vineyard town’s Board of Selectman and Town Council meetings about the contents of the plan. Residents who could not attend the meetings were encouraged to review the plan posted on the Cape Light Compact website and provide feedback through an online survey. The full plan can be found at www.capelightcompact.org/eeplan.
The Compact board and staff believe that the new Plan provides Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard residents with an innovative Plan to ensure community resiliency, a reduction of our carbon footprint, and a return on investment to home owners and business alike.
ABOUT CAPE LIGHT COMPACT JPE
Cape Light Compact JPE, is an award-winning energy services organization operated by the 21 towns on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard and Dukes County. The Compact’s mission is to serve its 205,000 customers through the delivery of proven energy efficiency programs, effective consumer advocacy and renewable competitive electricity supply. For more information, visit www.capelightcompact.org.