Statement by Jennifer Andersen, Outreach Coordinator of NRCM’s Clean Energy and Global Warming Project
Chairman Adams and members of the Commission, I am Jennifer Andersen with the Natural Resources Council of Maine. I would like to comment tonight on one aspect of the extension of CMP’s Alternative Rate Plan. NRCM supports the provisions that promote energy efficiency and conservation strategies to CMP’s customers.
In particular, NRCM supports CMP’s agreement to refrain from promoting increased electricity consumption during peak demand periods; to educate residential customers on efficient energy use; and to collaborate with the Public Advocate and Efficiency Maine program to encourage demand side management by CMP customers.
Three years ago, NRCM was involved in talks with CMP and other parties to come up with a strategy that would make the efficiency-related incentives of CMP and Efficiency Maine more compatible. Unfortunately, our discussions did not result in an agreement.
The stipulation before you tonight in regard to these issues is not a perfect one. NRCM would prefer to see an agreement that would direct CMP to refrain completely from the practice of urging electricity consumers to purchase additional appliances and to adopt other actions that would have the affect of increasing their individual energy bills. However, we are pleased that CMP has agreed to limit such promotion to four months out of the year, to educate their customers on the benefits of using energy efficiently, and their commitment to working with Efficiency Maine and the Office of the Public Advocate.
Rising energy demand and efficient use of energy are of particular importance now, considering that Maine is at risk of power shortages this summer. It would be ironic and very unfortunate to have CMP promoting increased energy consumption on the heels of the state’s successful program of reaching out to the public to reduce energy consumption, such as occurred this past winter with the “save-a-watt” program.
We appreciate your attention to these important parts of the Stipulation. The Natural Resources Council of Maine strongly believes that energy efficiency is one of the most important strategies available to the people of Maine to reduce energy prices, cut consumer energy bills, and reduce the environmental impacts of energy generation and use. We appreciate your support for energy efficiency, through this Stipulation and other measures that come before the PUC.