LPSC again puts off a vote on the Energy Efficiency Rule

attic_gallery_1.jpg

Update on the Proposal to Gut the Energy Efficiency Rule: The Louisiana Public Service Commission today, July 31, 2013 again put off a vote to implement the Energy Efficiency (EE) rule that was adopted at their meeting of Dec 12, 2012. There are two Commissioners (Clyde Holloway and Erik Skrmetta) dead set against the EE rule and two strongly for it (Foster Campbell and Lambert Boissiere). The swing vote is Scott Angelle in commission District 2 who voted for the rule at a meeting in May 2013 only to make a motion to stay the implementation pending further study. He is now the guy who will determine which way the EE rule goes. Commissioner Angelle had before today’s meeting proposed a rule that would make participation by the utilities voluntary. We discussed this in our earlier posting about the LPSC Proposal to Gut the Energy Efficiency Rule. It was a technically weak proposal that did not go anywhere.

Today Commissioner Scott Angelle declared he would not ask for a vote. Under Commission rules this bypassed the requirement that they hear public comment from advocate groups and individuals. The Commissioner did request information from three utilities, Entergy Gulf States, Cleco and Swepco. The Commissioner’s idea was to ask the companies if they would participate in a “voluntary” EE program if Commission rules provide a framework and guarantee a rate of return. Entergy and Cleco responded that they would look at it but were not willing to say that they would conduct EE programs. Swepco stated that they are planning to do an EE program but they need to see the cost recovery arrangement that is provided in an LPSC rule. Commissioner Angelle stated that he would propose a rule on August 19, two days before the next LPSC meeting on August 21. Considering the direction of his motions and discussion it is clear that he is planning to propose a voluntary rule.

Such a rule would not require participation of all utilities and would greatly reduce the effectiveness of a Louisiana EE program. It would not meet the standard set even by our close neighbor states Arkansas and Mississippi in their EE rules. Numerous states have enacted EE rules that require utilities to participate and allow them recover costs for investments in customer home improvements and energy efficient appliances. Once again Louisiana just can’t seem to get there. Thanks to all who made phone calls to the Commissioners in support of the Energy Efficiency Rule as it was adopted in December. Next round Aug 21, 2013.

share this page

share