For Immediate Release - October 17, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Continued Energy Savings in Second Year of Statewide Energy Efficiency Plans

BOSTON --October 17, 2012 – Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan today announced that energy efficiency improvements by homeowners, businesses and state and local government across the Commonwealth in 2011 resulted in significant electric, natural gas and greenhouse gas emission reductions. The savings are equivalent to the annual electricity usage of 109,000 homes, the annual natural gas usage of nearly 15,000 homes and the annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from more than 84,000 cars.

These savings were delivered in the second year of the 2010-2012 energy efficiency plans authorized by the Green Communities Act of 2008 and approved by the Department of Public Utilities in January 2010. The results are outlined in the 2011 Report of the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) filed with the Legislature. EEAC is a stakeholder body established to guide the development and monitor the implementation of the three-year plans.

“These results show we’re taking big steps toward reaching the ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency goals set by the Patrick-Murray Administration,” said Secretary Sullivan. “Energy efficiency leads to energy cost savings, and benefits for both the environment and the economy.”

“The Commonwealth’s ongoing commitment to energy efficiency is paying off for home and business owners through reduced electric and gas bills and measurable environmental benefits,” said Senator Benjamin B. Downing.  “I hope that the program additions made this year in the energy bill will create more opportunities for ratepayers as they take advantage of this nation-leading program.”

“With the Administration’s leadership, Massachusetts continues the lead the nation in creating green jobs, reducing our energy use in homes and businesses and saving ratepayers money,” said Representative John Keenan. “This report further demonstrates the tremendous and ongoing success of the Green Communities Act.”

The results contributed greatly to Massachusetts earning the #1 ranking in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard on October 3. This is the second consecutive year that Massachusetts earned this national distinction. California had topped each ACEEE ranking for the Scorecard’s first four years.

Under the statewide three-year energy efficiency plans, Massachusetts is engaged in one of the most ambitious energy efficiency efforts in the U.S. – investing more in energy efficiency per capita than any other state. The EEAC Report indicates the Commonwealth is meeting 87 percent of its annual electric savings goals, 83 percent of annual gas savings goals and 89 percent of its annual greenhouse gas reduction goals.

By the end of 2012, it is estimated that the three-year effort will reduce electricity demand by more than 2,600 gigawatt hours (GWh), natural gas consumption by 58 million therms, and greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 1.5 million tons. That is the equivalent of 363,194 homes powered, 56,667 homes heated, and the greenhouse gas emissions from 288,235 cars. The three-year plans call for an investment of just over $2 billion with an anticipated return of nearly $6 billion in benefits.

“The EEAC members and the utilities and energy efficiency service providers that deliver the Mass Save® programs continue to push to meet the goals and deliver comfort, savings, and environmental benefits for the businesses, homeowners and renters in the Commonwealth,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “I want to thank them for what they’ve done and for the work they’re doing now to develop another ambitious plan for 2013-2015.”

“Energy Efficiency programs are one of the most cost effective and quickest ways for ratepayers to mitigate high energy costs,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley.  “We look forward to continuing to work with the Patrick Administration and other stakeholders on the Council to implement these important initiatives.”

“This report reflects a winning efficiency strategy that is the result of ambitious goals, a strong stakeholder process, and a sustained commitment from the utilities, consumers and businesses,” said Jeremy McDiarmid, Massachusetts Director of ENE. “Thanks to the Governor’s leadership and the support of the legislature, Massachusetts efficiency investments are saving billions of dollars in energy costs while reducing harmful pollution.”

"These innovative programs have made it easy for companies to access capital for efficiency investments," said Senior Vice President of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Robert Rio. "There is no downside to reducing the use of energy - It benefits the environment and the bottom line, and will continue to produce dividends long after the initial investment."

The Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Governor Patrick in 2008, made the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 a requirement. The plan mandates a gradual GHG emissions reduction and a scheduling of emissions goals that is designed to spur innovation and promote research and development in the clean energy industry. The Commonwealth has set a 2020 reduction target of 25 percent below 1990 levels, and released the plan outlining a portfolio of policies and programs to meet the goal.

In August 2012, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced Massachusetts’ clean energy economy grew by 11.2 percent from July 2011 to July 2012. According to the 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report the growing sector now employs 71,523 people at 4,995 clean energy firms across Massachusetts.