FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Forest Wright, Alliance for Affordable Energy, 504-208-7597
Louisiana Public Service Commission Approves Implementation of Energy Efficiency Rules
Baton Rouge, LA - After months of deliberation and language changes, on Wednesday the Louisiana Public Service Commission voted to implement Phase I of the state's new energy efficiency rules. By reducing the need for more expensive ways of generating electricity, energy efficiency programs ultimately lower costs for all customers, with the greatest benefit going to the families and businesses who make the efficiency improvements. Highly successful energy efficiency programs have been implemented throughout the country with the South showing some of the most notable progress in recent years. Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Orleans are already operating successful programs and Mississippi passed their own energy efficiency rules this July.
When the Louisiana Commission reauthorized the energy efficiency rules on June 26th, they stayed implementation pending final amendments. The most significant revision was allowing utilities to voluntarily determine whether to provide efficiency programs to their customers. The utilities now have until October 1st, 2013 to formally file their intention with the Commission. Fortunately, immediately preceding the vote, each of the state's three investor owned electric utilities publicly stated that they will participate, thus bringing efficiency to the vast majority of customers in the state. While giving the utilities this discretion was a gamble, there is a potential upside to having the companies voluntarily participate.
"With Louisiana families and businesses paying among the highest energy bills in America, we can't afford to fall further behind on energy efficiency," says Forest Wright, Utility Policy Director for the Alliance for Affordable Energy. "On the other hand, if the utilities come to the table as willing partners, we could end up with efficiency programs that ultimately are even stronger now and into the future. It is better for customers if everyone is pulling in the same direction with energy efficiency."
The Alliance looks forward to expanding the impact of the new energy efficiency rules through the upcoming Integrated Resource Planning process beginning this October and by developing long term energy efficiency programs described as Phase II of the rules approved this week.
For more information, please contact the Alliance at (504) 208-7597 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.