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Energy Efficiency Three-Year Plans Orders and Guidelines

Program Administrators are required comply with the Green Communities Act and submit Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan filings to the DPU for review and approval.  The DPU must issue a decision within 90 days of the submission of these filings.  To facilitate this expedited schedule, the DPU developed Energy Efficiency Guidelines to set forth the process in which it will review these plans and filings. Below you will find significant decisions issued by the DPU on energy efficiency.

Table of Contents

Updates to the Energy Efficiency Guidelines

The Department of Public Utilities revised its Energy Efficiency Guidelines in May of 2021.  The revised Guidelines were applied to the 2022-2024 Three-Year Plan filings and will be used going forward.  However, the previous set of Guidelines will be used to review the 2019-2021 Term Reports.  More information can be found here

Key Actions   for Updates to the Energy Efficiency Guidelines

Three-Year Plan Orders

120-day review period   required by the Green Communities Act

The Green Communities Act requires all electric and gas Program Administrators (the electric and gas distribution companies and municipal aggregators that provide the efficiency programs to customers) to develop energy efficiency plans every three years that “provide for the acquisition of all available energy efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost effective or less expensive than supply.”  G.L. c. 25, § 21(b)(1).  The Green Communities Act also establishes an Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (“Council”) and directs Program Administrators, in coordination with the Council, to prepare a three-year, statewide energy efficiency plan.  G.L. c. 25, § 21(b)(1). 

The Program Administrators submit their three-year plans to the DPU on or before October 31 of the applicable planning year.  The DPU must, within 90-days of the filing date, approve, modify, or reject and require the resubmission of the three-year plans.

Key Actions   for Three-Year Plan Orders

Additional Resources   for Three-Year Plan Orders

DPU's Energy Efficiency Guidelines

1999   was the year the DPU first issued Energy Efficiency Guidelines

The Energy Efficiency Guidelines set forth the process by which the DPU reviews energy efficiency plans and filings.  In particular, the Guidelines address:  

  1. funding sources;
  2. budgets;
  3. cost-effectiveness;
  4. evaluation plans; 
  5. performance incentives;
  6. review of three-year plans;
  7. mid-term modifications;
  8. annual/term reports; and
  9. demonstration projects.

The current Guidelines went into effect on May 3, 2021 and will apply to the 2022-2024 three-year plan review process. 

Unless otherwise indicated, the DPU will apply the Guidelines as approved in Investigation by the Department of Public Utilities on its own Motion into Updating its Energy Efficiency Guidelines, D.P.U. 11‑120‑A, Phase II (2013) to the 2019‑2021 three‑year plan.

Additional Resources   for DPU's Energy Efficiency Guidelines

DPU Orders consistent with the Green Communities Act

Shortly after the Green Communities Act was signed into law, the DPU opened an investigation, D.P.U. 08-50, in August 2008 to review its Guidelines.  The legislative changes directly affected how energy efficiency plans were developed and the DPU recognized that it had to provide further guidance to Program Administrators and stakeholders during this period of efficiency program expansion. The current Guidelines were built upon the DPU's existing Energy Efficiency Guidelines, which were established in 1999, and had supported the delivery of successful, cost-effective energy efficiency programs to the Commonwealth’s citizens for well over a decade.  

On November 29, 2011, the DPU opened a subsequent investigation to address the recurring filings made each year during the first term of the three-year plans.  The DPU issued its final order and first revised Guidelines on January 31, 2013. 

On December 10, 2020, the DPU opened an investigation to revise its Guidelines to incorporate changes in laws and Department policies and experience concerning energy efficiency.  The DPU issued its final order and second revised Guidelines on May 3, 2021.

Key Actions   for DPU Orders consistent with the Green Communities Act

Additional Resources   for DPU Orders consistent with the Green Communities Act

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