The electrification of transportation systems can bring substantial economic and public health benefits. Synapse’s new guidebook for consumer advocates describes how to evaluate the potential impacts of EVs on customers’ electricity rates, health, and vehicle expenditures. It also describes some of the policies that can be implemented to help ensure that transportation electrification occurs in a manner that allows all customers, particularly low-income and other vulnerable groups, to share in the benefits while not unfairly bearing the costs.
You can browse all project descriptions (below), or narrow the search results by selecting one or more filters (topic area, client, etc.).
Now updated to include the Clean Power Plan and other relevant regulations, the Synapse CO2 price forecasts reflect a reasonable range of expectations regarding future efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Prudent planning requires that utilities and stakeholders take this cost into account when engaging in resource planning. Our forecast, updated annually, includes low, mid, and high case projections for CO2 prices out to 2040 based on thorough analysis of proposed federal regulatory measures, ongoing state and regional policies, the price of CO2 already being factored into federal rulemakings, recent CO2 price forecasts from utility IRPs, and policy analysis and modeling from the research community.
2015 Carbon Dioxide Price Forecast
CO2 Price Report, Spring 2014: Includes 2013 CO2 Price Forecast
2013 Carbon Dioxide Price Forecast
2012 Carbon Dioxide Price Forecast
Avoided Energy Supply Costs in New England 2021 study materials:
- AESC 2021 Report - May Re-Release
- AESC 2021 Report - March Release
- Click here to download the User Interfaces.
- Appendices for the AESC 2021 Report and a slide deck with study results can be found below.
For more information about the AESC study, please visit our project page.
Synapse and a team of subcontractors developed projections of electricity and natural gas costs that would be avoided due to reductions in electricity and natural gas use resulting from improvements in energy efficiency. The 2021 report provides projections of avoided costs of electricity and natural gas by year from 2021 through 2035 with extrapolated values through the mid-2050s. In addition to projecting the costs of energy and capacity avoided directly by program participants, the report provides estimates of the Demand Reduction Induced Price Effect (DRIPE) of efficiency programs on wholesale market prices for electric energy, electric capacity, and natural gas. The report also provides a projection of avoided costs of fuel oil and other fuels, non-embedded environmental costs associated with emissions of CO2 and NOX, avoided costs of transmission and distribution, and the value of reliability. The 2021 AESC study was sponsored by a group representing all of the major electric and gas utilities in New England as well as efficiency program administrators, energy offices, regulators, and advocates. Synapse conducted prior AESC studies in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2018.
Visit our AESC 2021 Materials page to download the AESC 2021 report appendices, user interfaces, a slide deck on the study findings, and supplemental studies.
Visit our AESC 2018 Materials page to review the 2018 report and additional materials.
Synapse has also conducted supplemental analysis on the avoided costs of compliance of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act. Visit here for more details.
Avoided Energy Supply Components in New England: 2021 Report (March Release)
Avoided Energy Supply Components in New England: 2018 Report (October Re-Release)
Avoided Energy Supply Components in New England: 2018 Report (June Re-Release)
Avoided Energy Supply Components in New England: 2018 Report (March 30 Release)
Avoided Energy Supply Costs in New England: 2013 Report
Avoided Energy Supply Costs in New England: 2011 Report
Avoided Energy Supply Costs in New England: 2009 Report
Avoided Energy Supply Costs: 2007 Final Report
Affidavit Regarding the Avoided Energy Supply Cost 2011 Report
Highlights of AESC 2011 Report: Presentation to the Vermont Public Service Board
Highlights of AESC 2011 Report: Presentation to Efficiency Maine Trust
Highlights of 2009 AESC Report: Presentation to the Vermont Public Service Board
Electricity Cost Highlights of Avoided Energy Supply Costs in New England 2007 Final Report
Synapse assisted the Regulatory Assistance Project with developing a guide utility regulators and other policymakers can use to adapt regulatory frameworks so that their jurisdictions can capture the full benefits of beneficial electrification and associated load flexibility in buildings. Technologies such as controllable water heaters, smart thermostats, and air source heat pumps create new opportunities for buildings to flexibly manage energy use and interact with the power grid in ways that benefit the electric system, homeowners, and the environment. Yet, many existing regulations were not designed to support the transition to lower-emission, electrified, and grid-integrated buildings. The guide focuses on ways to adapt regulations so that building electrification can be equitable, flexible, and grid-integrated. The guidebook addresses the need to update to fuel-neutral energy efficiency resource standards and program design, as well as to modernize building codes and performance standards and the evaluation of gas infrastructure needs. In addition to the guide, the authors provided an interactive webinar on ways to help regulators support the evolution of regulatory frameworks.
A Guide for the Handy Regulator Webinar Presentation
On behalf of Eversource Electric in Connecticut, Synapse developed an active demand reduction (ADR) benefit-cost (BC) screening model. Additionally, Synapse investigated storage benefits beyond those captured in the 2018 Avoided Energy Supply Costs study to be used either as quantitative inputs to the BC screening model or as qualitative information that will support the development of storage programs. By drawing upon literature reviews and common industry assumptions, Synapse produced storage non-energy benefits that could be input into the ADR BC model.
On behalf of the City of Boston, Synapse performed an in-depth building energy data analysis to develop a draft building emissions performance standard. The analysis involved developing frameworks and cost impacts for mandatory GHG emissions targets by building type that decrease over time. As part of the project, Synapse convened and facilitated a series of technical discussions with an advisory group comprised of experts in building science, architecture, engineering, construction, building operations, energy policy, renewable energy, and affordable housing. Using input from the City and the advisory group, Synapse developed recommendations, including proposed targets by building type, example compliance strategies, and aggregate cost estimates. Advisory group meeting materials are available on the City's website. The report published below describes the proposed standard and the methodology used to develop it.
Synapse was retained to provide expert witness and consulting services to the Hawaii Division of Consumer Advocacy in a proceeding to develop and review integrated resource plans (IRPs) for three electric companies. Topics include scenario planning, resource modeling, community and stakeholder input processes, and analysis of locally produced biofuels, wind and solar energy opportunities (both distributed and large scale), battery storage, and other renewable energy options. The three major electric companies supplying 95 percent of Hawaii’s electricity are simultaneously facing the need to retrofit or replace existing generation impacted by new environmental regulations and the onset of a very stringent renewable portfolio standard (40 percent by 2030). Imported fossil fuel costs are the primary driver behind high electricity rates and subject Hawaiian residents to rapidly fluctuating prices. Currently all of the Hawaiian Islands operate their electricity systems independently; a major planning issue going forward is interconnecting several of the islands using undersea cables in order to better integrate and manage high levels of variable renewable energy. On behalf of the client, Synapse is reviewing these key issues and addressing how best to meet future constraints and policy goals while minimizing costs to consumers.
Direct Testimony of Rick Hornby Regarding HECO & HELCO’s Application for a Biofuel Supply Contract with AKP
Direct Testimony of Patrick Luckow Regarding HECO & HELCO’s Application for a Biofuel Supply Contract with AKP
Synapse partnered with subcontractor Slipstream, Inc. to produce a comprehensive assessment of the energy storage potential in Iowa for the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The study produced forecasts of energy storage deployments in Iowa. By 2035, Iowa could see between 1 GW and 2 GW of energy storage deployed within the state. The study found that the scale and pace of energy storage deployments in Iowa will depend on many factors. This includes future capital and maintenance costs for battery storage systems, wholesale market reforms, and the degree to which state regulators incentivize utilities to consider storage as an alternative to traditional utility investments.
The study included macroeconomic modeling using Implan to explore the impacts on Iowa's gross domestic product and employment. The state economic impacts of a growing battery storage industry were estimated to be limited, but positive. This includes net job impacts ranging from 298 to 595 full-time equivalent jobs and state gross domestic product impacts from $13 million to $24 million per year. The macroeconomic impacts could be larger if Iowa attracts new businesses to the state that are part of the battery storage supply chain.
The Iowa energy storage study included an assessment of the barriers and best practices to the development of sustainable market opportunities for energy storage in Iowa. This report identified three key barriers to the broader implementation of storage in Iowa. These include: (1) lack of current alignment between storage value and markets; (2) the relatively high capital cost of battery systems; and (3) uncertainty in the future (for markets, regulation, and battery technology).
Read the Iowa Economic Development Authority's Executive Summary here.
The Maryland Office of People’s Counsel retained Synapse to provide expert witness testimony on the multi-year rate plan proposed by Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco). This included an examination of capital planning processes, proposed performance incentive mechanisms, and recommendations for tracking metrics.
Surrebuttal of Melissa Whited in reviewing Pepco's proposed rate plan
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency hired Synapse to assess the financial condition of Exelon's Illinois nuclear fleet following the announcement by Exelon that it intends to shutdown the Byron and Dresden nuclear stations starting in September 2021. The information from this financial audit will help inform legislative action regarding how the state should respond to the announced closure timeline.
For this project, Synapse incorporated a Monte Carlo simulation that encompassed distribution and probabilities of revenues and costs for the Byron, Dresden, Braidwood, and LaSalle plants over the next five and 10 years.
Through this analysis, Synapse found the following:
- The Byron plant has a five-year expected net present value (NPV) of $31 million using Exelon’s discount rate. Our Monte Carlo analysis found that 95 percent of the iterations will be above an NPV of -$30 million.
- The Dresden plant has a five-year expected NPV of -$87 million using Exelon’s discount rate. Our Monte Carlo analysis found that 95 percent of the iterations will be above a net present value of -$139 million.
Synapse recommends that Illinois develop a program that offers financial support for the Byron and Dresden plants only when the plants require this support. This program need not extend beyond five years and could be re-evaluated at the end of the five-year period.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources retained Synapse to support its exploration of privacy and security issues related to Minnesota utilities’ hosting capacity analyses (HCA) and distribution grid data. As with other jurisdictions modernizing the grid, Minnesota seeks to balance the data access needed to support distributed energy resource (DER) uptake with maintaining a secure grid that protects the privacy of customers.
Xcel Energy (Xcel), Minnesota’s largest electricity provider, has made its HCA available via an online map, but blurs the display of the data in a way that does not reveal discrete circuits, and provides less system information. Xcel claims that an unblurred map would make the distribution grid unnecessarily vulnerable to attack and would jeopardize customer security and confidentiality.
Synapse wrote a report stating that Xcel should unblur its HCA map and place it behind a verified web login portal that is open to the public. In reaching this conclusion, Synapse noted that:
- Location information on distribution facilities is likely already in the public domain
- Various tools exist to help map distribution lines
- Providing distribution line information provides significant value to DER developers
- Focusing on strengthening the grid’s physical and cybersecurity defenses, and increasing grid resiliency, is more effective at deterring attackers than concealing information.
For sensitive grid data, such as peak substation and feeder loads, which is currently not provided on the HCA map, Synapse recommended applying a risk/cost-benefit framework to balance grid security with the public benefits of HCA map data. The framework could help determine whether specific, sensitive grid data should be published on its HCA map, and how secure access to this data should be provided. Synapse suggested that Xcel consider a tiered-access approach that helps streamline access to non-public grid data and does not make requirements unnecessarily burdensome.
On behalf of Energy Outreach Colorado, Synapse submitted testimony regarding the impact of Public Service Company of Colorado's proposal to eliminate inclining block rates (IBR). Synapse's analysis revealed that inclining block rates are more cost-reflective than flat rates, and that eliminating IBR would have disproportionately negative impacts on low-income customers, as these customers tend to have lower usage than average. Further, Synapse's testimony supported empowering customers to better manage their electricity bills by providing customers with cost-reflective rate options.
In 2019, Sandia National Laboratories contracted Synapse Energy Economics to improve understanding and provide guidance on the challenges and opportunities facing communities and electric utilities seeking to coordinate energy-related resilience efforts. The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and conducted as part of the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium’s Designing Resilient Communities: A Consequence-Based Approach for Grid Investment (DRC) project. Synapse was one of several government, industry, and university partners on the project team and provided expertise on electric utility regulation.
Synapse produced a series of five reports exploring several important topics related to its area of focus, including:
- Current landscape: structured interviews with six community and utility pairs to better characterize the existing state of resilience planning within and across jurisdictions and identify opportunities for improvement;
- Benefit-cost analysis for grid investments in resilience: the first application of the framework developed in the 2020 National Standard Practice Manual for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Distributed Energy Resources to grid resilience investments;
- Resilience performance metrics: guidance for jurisdictions to take the important step of defining and establishing performance metrics for resilience;
- Resilient public purpose microgrids: definition of the term and characterization of five project types that may be more likely to receive ratepayer funding; and
- Regulatory mechanisms to support resilience: mechanisms that electric utility regulators can use to align grid resilience investments with resilience interests and priorities.
Application of a Standard Approach to Benefit-Cost Analysis for Electric Grid Resilience Investments
Performance Metrics to Evaluate Utility Resilience Investments
Excel Tool: Performance Metrics to Evaluate Utility Resilience Investments
Regulatory Mechanisms to Enable Investments in Electric Utility Resilience
The Quest for Public Purpose Microgrids for Resilience: Considerations for Regulatory Approval
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) retained Synapse to analyze the macroeconomic impacts of light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) standards and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) policies in the state of Illinois. We assessed the likely employment and GDP impacts in Illinois for three policy scenarios: (1) adoption of low emission vehicle (LEV) tailpipe standards for criteria pollutants and GHGs, and ZEV regulations; (2) the LEV standards with increased ZEV penetration that achieves Governor Pritzker’s goal of 750,000 ZEVs by 2030; and (3) the LEV standards with further ZEV penetration that achieves 100 percent ZEV sales by 2035. Our analysis found that each of the three policy scenarios is likely to result in small but positive long-term macroeconomic impacts in Illinois and that employment and GDP benefits grow as each policy scenario becomes more aggressive in its assumed number of LEVs and ZEVs in Illinois.
Synapse provided the Maryland Office of People’s Counsel (OPC) with technical assistance in evaluating the likely impacts on Maryland ratepayers from pursuing the fixed resource requirement (FRR) alternative to continued participation in PJM's capacity market. The FRR alternative is the main avenue for states to avoid the negative impacts of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) controversial minimum offer price rule (MOPR) order on the development of renewable resources and the cost to achieve state clean energy goals.
As part of this work, Synapse developed a three-step framework for assessing the potential impacts of the FRR alternative. The framework was proposed to evaluate the economic and financial trade-offs between the FRR alternative and continued participation in PJM's capacity market and the state regulatory and legislative actions that may be necessary to support pursuit of the FRR alternative. This included evaluating the potential benefits and costs to Maryland ratepayers from pursuit of the FRR alternative and an assessment of the legislative and regulatory actions necessary to pursue the FRR option if the benefits are determined to exceed the costs. As part of this effort, Synapse conducted in-depth analysis on the benefits and costs associated with FRR, including changes in cost to meet clean energy goals, changes in capacity procurement quantities, and market power impacts.
On behalf of the Sierra Club, Synapse is providing expert comments and analysis in the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s investigation into the Self Scheduling and Self-Commitment practices of the state’s Coal-fired power plants.
In 2020, Synapse evaluated the unit commitment and dispatch practices of two Minnesota Utility companies: Minnesota Power’s two Boswell units and Otter Tail Power’s Big Stone and Coyote units.
Based on data and information submitted as part of the Companies’ 2020 Annual Compliance Filings, we found that both Otter Tail Power and Minnesota Power uneconomically self-committed and often appeared to have uneconomically self-scheduled their coal units throughout the 2020 reporting periods. Both utilities incurred significant losses (relative to the market price of energy) based on their unit commitment and dispatch decision-making processes. Otter Tail Power’s losses resulting from its commitment and dispatch practices were driven in large part by two factors:
(1) the Company’s decision to enter into a long-term fuel contract for Coyote at the mine that serves the plant (co-located with the mine) that designates a significant portion of its fuel costs as fixed costs; and
(2) the joint ownership structure and dual market operation of both the Big Stone and Coyote plants.
In 2021, Synapse evaluated Otter Tail Power’s units, focusing on the long-term coal contract and joint ownership structure issues outlined above. We evaluated the contract buy-out cost for Otter Tail Power to exit the coal contract at Coyote, and whether ratepayers would be better served by exiting the contract or continuing to operate the unit at a loss. We also reviewed actions the Company has taken to enable economic commitment at Big Stone, its plans to do the same at Coyote, and the challenges posed to attempting to implement fully economic operations based on the joint market and joint ownership at both plants.
Comments in Response to Otter Tail Power's 2020 Annual Compliance Filing
Surreply Comments in Response to Otter Tail Power's 2020 Annual Compliance Filing
Comments in Response to Minnesota Power's 2020 Annual Compliance Filing
Surreply Comments in Response to Minnesota Power's 2020 Annual Compliance Filing
Synapse is providing expert assistance to the Conservation Law Foundation in regard to Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) docket 20-80. The Massachusetts DPU opened docket 20‐80 to examine the role of Massachusetts gas local distribution companies in helping the Commonwealth to achieve its 2050 climate goals. The DPU’s order requires the state’s gas utilities to complete studies over the next year that will inform this examination and allow the DPU and other state agencies to develop the specific roadmap to required emission reductions.
Synapse produced the white paper below which presents a set of criteria for the required “future of gas” studies and has been submitted to docket 20-80. These criteria are designed to ensure that the studies will present sufficient, detailed, and justified data, analysis, and recommendations to inform the DPU and relevant stakeholders.
The Natural Resources Defense Council retained Synapse to provide technical and policy support for public comments on fossil gas forecasting methodologies in Nevada. With assistance from subcontractor John Rosenkranz, Synapse assessed the filings of NV Energy and Southwest Gas with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, and developed recommendations for better accounting of uncertainties, such as the impacts of electrification.
On behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Synapse is providing technical and policy support in a number of New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC) and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) proceedings.
In the ongoing Niagara Mohawk rate case before the NY PSC, Synapse filed testimony on earnings adjustment mechanisms to align utility incentives with New York's energy and climate goals. Synapse also developed a white paper on the planning practices necessary to guide and support the transition from today’s fossil gas utility industry to one that complies with the emission requirements of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), supports the equitable distribution of energy-related benefits and burdens, maintains essential energy services, manages costs, and protects all customers. In a joint filing with other stakeholders, NRDC filed the Synapse white paper in the NY PSC’s ongoing proceeding to consider changes to gas utility planning and procedures in light of the policy changes facing the industry.
In Pennsylvania, Synapse submitted testimony on the Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation plans of PPL Electric Utilities Corporation and PECO Energy Company. Separately, Synapse assisted NRDC with developing comments for the PUC's proceeding on Utilization of Storage Resources as Electric Distribution Assets.
Revised Direct Testimony of Alice Napoleon and Kenji Takahashi In regard to PPL Electric Utilities’ proposed energy efficiency and conservation plan
Direct testimony of Alice Napoleon and Courtney Lane regarding PECO Energy's proposed energy efficiency and conservation plan
Comments to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on the utilization of storage resources as electric distribution assets
Long-Term Planning to Support the Transition of New York’s Gas Utility Industry
On behalf of Counsel to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, Synapse analyzed and developed evidence regarding Nova Scotia Power’s (NS Power) proposed time-varying rate application. Synapse witness Melissa Whited recommended that the Board approve NS Power's proposed time-of-use and critical peak price tariffs and recommended that other aspects of the proposal be modified or rejected. In particular, Ms. Whited's evidence critiqued NS Power's proposed "Soft Launch" approach as failing to include adequate details regarding customer engagement strategy, as well as providing insufficient planning for evaluation, measurement, and verification. In addition, Ms. Whited found the company's lost revenue adjustment mechanism to be flawed and unnecessary, and certain tariff requirements to be overly restrictive. Finally, Ms. Whited's evidence pointed to the need to better incorporate long-run marginal costs into future tariff modifications.
Synapse presented two papers at the 2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings conference:
- Kenji Takahashi presented a paper on a survey that examined various U.S. state and local building decarbonization policies and programs. This paper identifies the importance of overarching GHG emission targets and building electrification, the role of different policies targeting new vs. existing buildings, important synergies between clean energy supply policies and building demand policies, the role of municipal leadership, the need for program coordination, and the importance of addressing equity issues.
- Asa Hopkins presented a paper entitled "Keep Warm and Carry on: Electrification and Efficiency Meet the 'Polar Vortex'" which examines the hypothetical future case of universal building decarbonization through electrification when exposed to a “polar vortex” weather event, modeled on the event that spread from the Upper Midwest through New England in January 2019.
Keep Warm and Carry On: Electrification and Efficiency Meet the “Polar Vortex”
On behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Synapse prepared a report and briefed stakeholders and relevant parties on its its findings regarding Dominion's need for the Surry-Skiffes Creek 500 kV Transmission Line that was constructed across the Jamestown River.
In this report, we review Dominion and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ justification for the Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton project, evaluate the actual level of need in the NHRLA, and develop a set of alternative portfolios that can meet area need and comply with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirements without the Surry-Skiffes Creek project. We recommend that in the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers should require that Dominion evaluate modular battery storage as a new supply option, and update its load forecast.
On behalf of the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), Synapse provided expert witness testimony regarding Pepco’s proposed multi-year rate plan and performance incentive mechanisms. Synapse also drafted comments in response to the Commission's Notice of Inquiry regarding implementation of the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, which requires the Commission to consider the “effects on global climate change and the District’s public climate commitments.”
GD2019 04 M: DC DOEE Comments Responding to Notice of Inquiry
Direct Testimony of Courtney Lane in Formal Case No. 1156
Rebuttal Testimony of Courtney Lane in Formal Case No. 1156
Surrebuttal Testimony of Courtney Lane in Formal Case No. 1156
Supplemental Testimony of Courtney Lane in Formal Case No. 1156
On behalf of the Eastern Environmental Law Center (EELC), Synapse and subcontractor John Rosenkranz conducted a comprehensive assessment of National Grid’s Capacity Report released February 24, 2020. National Grid's Capacity Report detailed gas peak demand forecasts through the winter of 2034/35, modeling both High Demand and Low Demand scenarios. The report then assessed various long-term gas solutions to fill these gaps. These potential solutions included various large-scale gas infrastructure projects such as the NESE pipeline and LNG facilities, as well as a “No Infrastructure” option which solely relies on additional demand-side resources.
Our analysis found various errors in National Grid’s assessments of the rate of customer conversion from oil to natural gas for the load forecasts, expected levels and costs of energy efficiency and heat pumps under existing or expanded policies and programs, and gas supply resources. The report concludes that corrections to these errors and appropriate treatment of demand-side measures, with or without small changes in National Grid’s supply planning assumptions, eliminates the need for any of the large-scale infrastructure investments examined in the Capacity Report.
On behalf of Earthjustice, Synapse reviewed the U.S. EPA's benefit-cost analysis of changes to the proposed power plant effluent limitations guidelines (ELG). Synapse created an expert report that Earthjustice submitted as part of its official comments on the proposed rule modification.
The purpose of this report is to (1) evaluate the proposed changes to the 2015 ELG rule; (2) review the four options the EPA lays out for compliance (focusing on Options 2 and 4); (3) review the EPA’s benefit cost analysis (BCA); (4) critique the EPA’s analysis and results; and (5) provide recommendations on how the EPA should structure its BCA and which compliance option it should recommend.
On behalf of Environmental Defense Fund, Synapse conducted a benefit-cost analysis of proposed emissions rules drafted by the New Mexico Environment Department. These proposed rules curb emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the oil and gas industry in New Mexico. The analysis compared implementation costs to four types of benefits to the state of New Mexico: sales from newly captured gas, avoided costs related to human health impacts, avoided nonattainment costs of reduced GHG emissions, and the global societal benefit of reducing methane emissions into the atmosphere. The report presents three different approaches to the benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of the proposed rules (e.g., New Mexico BCR, National BCR, and Global BCR) – all of which are cost-effective according to the Synapse analysis.
On behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Synapse is providing technical and policy support in a number New York Public Service Commission (PSC) proceedings, including the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. This work includes review, comments, and analysis of policies and targets for energy efficiency and other distributed energy resources, to ensure that New York meets its climate, energy, and low- and moderate-income energy affordability goals. Project ongoing.
The 100PercentCT Project developed by People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) supports the transition to a clean energy economy in Connecticut. The project’s primary function is to conduct energy analyses to help inform individual towns and the State of Connecticut about opportunities to achieve 100 percent renewable energy for the buildings and transportation sectors. PACE developed the Town Energy Analysis model—an in-house, techno-economic tool—to inventory energy use and emissions in Connecticut towns and evaluate strategies to transition to renewable energy.
Synapse performed an in-depth review of PACE’s Town Energy Analysis model to identify opportunities to improve upon and expand the model. We evaluated the modeling methods, sectors, and scope included in the energy analysis, as well as the inputs and data sources used. We compared PACE’s model alongside 10 publicly available energy and climate modeling tools to identify opportunities to align the Town Energy Analysis model with current best practices in energy and greenhouse gas accounting and in identification of mitigation opportunities.
Synapse issued a report to PACE presenting our review of the Town Energy Analysis model. First, our report summarizes the energy and climate modeling tools used to establish current energy and climate planning best practices for analytical models. Next, we validate PACE’s model and identify specific changes to improve key data, inputs, methods, and assumptions used in the model. We conclude by identifying additional modeling approaches, clean energy strategies, market segments, and energy impacts for the possible inclusion within PACE’s Town Energy Analysis model.
Synapse supported the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) with analysis of a commercial electric vehicle time-of-use (TOU) rate that was proposed by Duquesne Light in Pennsylvania in a regulatory proceeding. Synapse calculated bill impacts for small and medium commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, aiming to understand how charging non-EV load on the EV TOU rate impacts the bills of C&I customers, relative to the default flat rate. Synapse also compared the impact of the TOU rate on EV charging cost per mile relative to the cost of gasoline per mile for a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle. The analysis examined several types of small and medium C&I customers, including hotels, office buildings, and warehouses, as well as DC fast-charging load. The final deliverable was a slide deck that was used as an exhibit in NRDC's testimony. The testimony is filed here.
Synapse posts hundreds of publications for free public download. You can browse all publications (below), or narrow the search results by selecting one or more filters (topic area, client, etc.).