What’s Really Behind the Utility Industry Solar Proposal?

By Cynthia A. Arcate 4 March, 2014
In a post here last week, we detailed why the utility industry’s proposed legislation mandating utility long-term solar energy contract procurement in place of the current competitive customer driven market won’t work. What we didn’t get to then was why the industry proposed it in the first place. It’s clear from the utility’s explanation supporting their proposal that their focus isn’t the overall consumer cost of solar but the allocation of costs avoided by customers who are contracting for solar

A Sound Solution to the Vintage Renewable Energy Credit Problem

By Cynthia A. Arcate 6 February, 2013
About a year ago, we reported on an arcane but no less important problem of the inadequate supply of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for Class II resources. To its credit, the state has moved to address this – through legislation, research and, recently, a new proposal that bears examination. Class II resources are the renewable energy projects operational before 1998, when the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard was created for new resources. This Class II category was created as part of

Start with common ground in both versions of the energy bill

By Cynthia A. Arcate 9 July, 2012
With the clock ticking away on this legislative session, Massachusetts is again on the verge of passing important legislation which will have a definite impact on the energy marketplace in the Commonwealth. Last week in this space, we called to your attention a proposed amendment to the House of Representatives energy bill which stood to benefit cities, towns and state entities by streamlining the procurement process for renewable energy projects. We are pleased to report that this amendment, supported by

Enhancing the Implementation of Energy Efficiency Programs

By Cynthia A. Arcate 12 June, 2012
For about 20 years, Massachusetts utilities have been the primary – some would say exclusive – implementer of the state’s energy efficiency programs. Throughout that time, there have been discussions about whether the utilities are the best vehicle to implement programs. Other states have gone the route of what is referred to as the “third party administrator,” such as Vermont, Maine and New York (although New York has recently opened up opportunities for utility participation with the expansion of spending).