In recent years, increasing levels of distributed generation have led to challenging questions about how utilities charge customers for the electricity they use. To date, this has largely been a debate between utilities and distributed solar industry and advocates, but the potential impact on energy efficiency is enormous. The session will take a close look at proposed reforms in electric rate design, show how they could change the economics of consumer investments in residential energy efficiency, and recommend what works best for the modern energy consumer.
A key topic will be the trend among utilities to increase fixed fees, also known as customer service charges, to levels that impair consumer control over energy costs and disrupt energy efficiency. Also spotlighted will be legislation passed in Connecticut that established a pro-consumer definition of the fixed fee and how that approach might translate to other states in the region.
Overall, this session will present a concrete vision for how grid reform can accelerate, not impede, progress on making our buildings highly-energy efficient.