March 2018, Barr Foundation
The Applied Economics Clinic has prepared a series of four policy briefs related to Boston's new Community Choice Energy Aggregation (CCE) program:
Boston CCE and Electric Costs: Describes the expected impact of Boston's new CCE program on electric customer costs.
Boston CCE and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Describes the greenhouse gas emission reductions expected to result from Boston's new CCE program.
Boston CCE and State Clean Energy Laws: Provides a comparison of Boston CCE, the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Standard.
Sourcing Green Energy for CCE Programs: Provides an overview of current CCE programs in Massachusetts and around the United States including a discussion of the different methods used to source their green energy.
February 2018, Conservation Law Foundation
The Applied Economics Clinic has prepared a report that examines how well Massachusetts’ efficiency programs reaching under-served communities and harder-to-reach families. At present, it is not possible to answer this question completely because Mass Save program administrators have access to—but do not include in publicly available statistics—information regarding low-income households, under-served communities and hard-to-reach families. Working with limited data, we find that there are substantial differences in energy savings among Massachusetts’ towns, and lower-income communities are receiving lower efficiency savings. This report presents maps and other figures showing differences in efficiency savings, income, and other community characteristics like language abilities and renter status for both Massachusetts towns and neighborhoods within Boston.
February 2018, Consumers Union (CU)
The Applied Economics Clinic has prepared a report that investigates the impact of various levels of energy efficiency on electric rates and bills of Dominion Energy Virginia (Dominion) customers. Dominion is asking state utility regulators to approve billions of dollars in new spending to increase nuclear and natural gas capacity over the next 10 years in order meet its forecast for future energy demand. These costs would be passed on to consumers in the form of substantially higher utility bills. We find that by investing in energy efficiency, Dominion customers would enjoy lower rates and bills while future energy demand would be met with fewer than half of the new power plants currently proposed by Dominion.
January 2018, Nebraska Wildlife Federation (NeWF)
The Applied Economics Clinic, together with Sommer Energy, have prepared a report regarding Nebraska's energy future. Sommer Energy, LLC and Applied Economics Clinic were asked by the Nebraska Wildlife Federation (NeWF) to produce a plan envisioning an electric grid in Nebraska that relies more heavily on cost-effective wind, solar, and energy efficiency. With the costs of wind and solar at historic lows, NeWF seeks to determine how Nebraska's expanded reliance on renewables, coupled with greater investment in energy efficiency, could reduce the overall cost of electricity in Nebraska as well as change the state's trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions.
December 2017, Natural Resources Defense Council
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is a proposed new natural gas pipeline that is currently planned to travel through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and is intended to bring natural gas to markets in those states. Dominion Transmission, Inc., the leading percentage owner of the pipeline, has made several arguments in favor of the project based on reports it commissioned from ICF International and Chmura Economics & Analytics. In this report, we examine the merit of each of these claims and find them to be unsupported based on available data.
November 2017, Green Cities Coalition and Southeastern Colorado Renewable Energy Society
The Colorado Springs City Council ordered that Martin Drake units 6 and 7 be decommissioned no later than December 31, 2035, and that it would consider earlier dates. In response, Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) is evaluating 2025 or 2030 decommissioning. Based on the information available to us, we conclude that the CSU Board should consider Martin Drake for decommissioning earlier than 2035—and certainly prior to making large capital investments in the plant—due to: the plant's inefficiencies, more efficient competition, failure to adequately consider alternatives, the ability to rely on regional supply, and health impacts given the plant's location in a city center.
November 2017, Barr Foundation
In October, AEC released “An Analysis of Community Choice Energy for Boston,” which evaluated the potential adoption of Community Choice Energy (CCE) in the City of Boston. One of the key findings was that CCE customers were procuring more renewable energy than provided by basic service and saving about 2 percent on their electric bill in 2017. In 2018, the average household participating in a CCE program will save 19 percent on its electric bill.
October 2017, Alliance for Affordable Energy
Clinic Director and Senior Researcher, Liz Stanton submitted testimony to the City Council of New Orleans in the matter of Entergy New Orleans' request for a new power station to address their capacity deficit. Dr. Stanton's testimony provides an expert opinion as to whether or not Entergy New Orleans' request is reasonable, given alternative options to address any assumed capacity deficit and within the context of the City of New Orleans' climate regulations. Dr. Stanton concludes that Entergy New Orleans needs less capacity than it has reported, that the company has not considered a full set of alternatives to meet New Orleans' needs, and that the New Orleans City Council should wait to make a decision until it has all information at hand.
October 2017, Barr Foundation
AEC prepared a report and policy brief to examine how Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs work and address commonly asked questions in order to inform efforts in the City of Boston to understand the implications of CCE programs, including the program’s costs to residents and businesses, impacts on renewable energy, and contributions to the City’s climate goal. Clinic Director and Senior Researcher Liz Stanton presented the findings at the October 3, 2017 meeting of the Boston City Council. At the same meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the Community Choice Energy resolution.
June 2017, Alternatives for Community and Environment
Clinic Director and Senior Researcher, Liz Stanton submitted testimony to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution in the matter of Brockton Power's application to construct a new 350 megawatt natural gas power plant.
Dr. Stanton's testimony demonstrates that the greenhouse gas emission limits set out in Brockton Power's revised application are not consistent with Massachusetts' compliance with its climate law, called the Global Warming Solutions Act.
July/August 2017 Dollars & Sense
Clinic Director and Senior Researcher, Liz Stanton's interview in the July/August 2017 issue of Dollars & Sense Magazine addresses the ways that global climate change—and the unequal distribution of benefits and costs from greenhouse gas emissions—are related to global inequalities in wealth and power.