Vermont Public Service Board Adopts Synapse’s Recommendations for 20-Year Energy Efficiency Plan

The Vermont Public Service Board (Board) cited a Synapse report extensively in its July 9 Order in the 2014-2034 Vermont Energy Efficiency Plan Proceeding, and adopted Synapse’s recommendation that the state’s Energy Efficiency Utilities (EEUs) collect and report better data on customer participation so as to better understand repeat participation.

Synapse prepared the report, Rate and Bill Impacts of Vermont Energy Efficiency Programs, on behalf of the Vermont Public Service Department (PSD) after analyzing state energy efficiency programs’ rate and bill impacts and participation estimates. Synapse looked at both historical impacts (from the past ten years) and future impacts (looking forward to the next 20 years). The Board ruled to increase the electric EEU budget and urged EEUs to track participants better in the future.

“The breadth of customer participation is a key component not only in understanding the implications of rate and bill impacts, but also in building customer support for potentially more aggressive energy efficiency budgets in the future,” the Board writes on page 45 of the order. “The Board encourages VEIC, BED, and the Department to develop cost-effective methods to better measure participation in energy efficiency programs and specifically to gather information about customers who do not participate in any energy efficiency programs and the reasons for their non-participation so that participation rates and customer equity issues might be better addressed in the future.”