Conservation

LPSC Proposal to Gut the Energy Efficiency Rule

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The battle with the Louisiana Public Service Commission over the proposed statewide energy efficiency rule continues with two Democrats staunchly for it, two Republicans dead set against it and newly elected Republican commissioner Scott Angelle playing a pivotal role in its outcome. The Commission back in December of 2012 adopted the statewide rule modeled after the Arkansas EE program, when former Commissioner Jimmy Fields was still on the Commission. In February new Commission chair Erik Skrmetta and Commissioner Clyde Holloway attempted to vacate the rule without hearing public comment. Sierra Club and our allies filed a lawsuit and the Commission decided to hear public comment on the rule in June. Three commissioners, including Scott Angelle voted in favor of the energy efficiency rule at the meeting on June 26 but decided to suspend implementation for a month. Now Commissioner Angelle, who was not involved in four years of work on the rules, is proposing changes that effectively neutralize the effectiveness of the rule

Proposal for New Coal Export Terminal in Louisiana Faces Major Setbacks

After one year, the RAM Terminal has still not received Clean Water Act permits from the Army Corps of Engineers

July 11, 2013

CONTACTS:
Gulf Restoration Network: Scott Eustis, (504) 525-1528 x212, scott@healthygulf.org
Sierra Club: Devin Martin, (985) 209-5454, devin.martin@sierraclub.org
Public Citizen Contact: Kaiba White, (512) 477-1155, kwhite@citizen.org
PREI Contact: Cornell Battle, (504) 578-2319

Advocates for Clean Energy Successfully Hold Off Attack from Hostile Commissioners

Mary Shepp's home in Lafayette

The LPSC on Wednesday, June 26 had a marathon session during which two items were considered that are of great interest to Clean Energy advocates.

The Energy Efficiency Rule (EE Rule) - The EE rules were adopted by LPSC Dec 12, 2012 but were reversed on Feb 27, 2013 during a meeting in which public comment was not allowed by Commission Chair Eric Skrmetta. We filed a legal challenge and the Commission Chair agreed to re-hear the issue at the meeting of June 26. Alliance for Affordable Energy and Sierra Club did a great job of turning out supportive testimony from a number of different stakeholder groups. A key presentation came from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy which had studied the potential for EE in Louisiana.

Louisiana Energy Efficiency Rules up for re-consideration June 26, 2013

Louisiana Energy Efficiency Rules up for re-consideration June 26, 2013 Statewide Energy Efficiency Rules are up for a vote in the Louisiana Public Service Commission meeting on June 26, 2013. You may remember that the rules were adopted by LPSC Dec 12, 2012 and reversed on Feb 27 during a meeting in which public comment was not allowed by the Commission Chair Eric Skrmetta. We challenged that in court and the lawsuit is currently pending. Mr. Skrmetta has agreed to re-hear the issue at the LPSC meeting planned for June 26, 2013.

Public Service Commission Vote on Net Metering Rule Postponed Again

Mary Shepp's home in Lafayette

LPSC update, May 21, 2013 Public Service Commission Vote on Net Metering Rule Postponed Again

The Louisiana Public Service Commission met today, May 21, 2013 to vote on the Net Metering Rule as one of its agenda items. Once again, Commissioner Clyde Holloway was forced to postpone his proposal to reduce the rate that solar panel owners get for their produced electricity because he did not have three votes on the five member commission. This represents a victory for solar advocates and shows the results of our calls to commissioners asking them to leave the Net Metering Rule as it is. Thanks to all of you who made calls to commissioners, it worked !

Net-Metering in Louisiana Slated for Execution, Please Call the Commissioners

Mary Shepp's home in Lafayette

Under current law in Louisiana and many other states, all energy generated by solar customers belongs to them. For every kWh they feed onto the grid they are entitled to a credit worth a kWh in return. At the end of the month the customer owes the utility the base customer charge plus whatever extra power they used over what they produced.

Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway has proposed a rule change which will force these customers to sell their power to the utility at a fraction of its value (wholesale cost $0.03-0.04/kWh). Then the Utility is allowed to sell that same energy to other customers at retail prices ($0.08/kWh). The Public Service Commission has never even done a cost/benefit analysis to show that such a reduction is justified. Such a drastic change in the rules could devastate the small but growing solar energy industry in Louisiana which now numbers over 200 installers and has created more than 1,000 jobs.

John Turley Pushes for Bioremediation of Oil Spills

John Turley in Lafayette flyer

John Turley, Petroleum Engineer and offshore industry expert in his presentation for Sierra Club Acadian Group on April 17 identified the sequence of events that caused the BP Macondo well blowout on April 20, 2010 and the subsequent oil spill disaster in the Gulf. In response to questions he discussed the problem of toxic dispersants and the emergence of information about better alternatives. A key issue is that BP used the toxic dispersant Corexit because it had been preauthorized by EPA. News reports at the time said that even when EPA asked BP to use less toxic alternatives BP continued with massive quantities of Corexit because (they said) that was the only dispersant agent available in sufficient quantity.

HCR 68 Continues Study of Bayou Teche

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House Concurrent Resolution 68 by Representative Stephen Ortego has passed the Louisiana Legislature and continues the study of Bayou Teche for designation as a Historic and Scenic River under the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act. HCR 68 focuses the study on the portions of Bayou Teche flowing through St. Martin Parish and St. Landry Parish. HCR 49 in last year’s (2012) legislature had requested La Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries to study inclusion of the entire length of Bayou Teche in four parishes.

LPSC Considering Rollback of Incentives for Solar Panels on Homes

Mary Shepp's home in Lafayette

The Louisiana Public Service Commission met Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in Baton Rouge and heard testimony on Net-Metering by solar installers and owners, utility representatives, PSC staff and others. Clyde Holloway, District 4 commissioner and proponent of changing the net-meter order, offered a motion but said he would delay a vote until the PSC meets May 21 in Baton Rouge. Here are highlights of his pending motion:

1) Reduce the rate of payment to net-metering customers to average avoided cost plus one cent per kilowatt-hour

Net-Metering in Louisiana Slated for Execution

Mary Shepp's home in Lafayette

This information comes to us from our friends at Alliance for Affordable Energy and is repeated here because of its importance to the future of the solar industry in Louisiana.

Unless we all step forward to defend it, Louisiana will be the 1st state to eliminate solar net-metering. Under current law in Louisiana (and every other state), all energy generated by solar customers belongs to them. Every kWh they feed onto the grid they are entitled to a credit worth a kWh in return. At the end of the month the customer owes the utility the base customer charge plus whatever extra power they used over what they produced.

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