Consumer Liaison Group discussed the progress of energy efficiency and its effects on New England consumers at June 2018 meeting

The Consumer Liaison Group held its second meeting of the year on June 14, 2018, in Westborough, Massachusetts. Edward Anthes-Washburn, Executive Director of the Port of New Bedford, opened the meeting with an in-depth look into the offshore wind industry’s introduction to the port and how the commercial fishing and offshore wind industries can coexist. The meeting also featured a panel discussion on the topic, Transitioning from Energy Efficiency to the Efficient Use of Energy – What Does it Mean for Consumers?, as well as an update from ISO New England.

Keynote Address

Edward Anthes-Washburn, Executive Director, Port of New BedfordAnthes-Washburn (pictured right) highlighted the importance of promoting both the infrastructure and economic development of offshore wind “through the lens of the commercial fishing industry,” which, he said, is the cornerstone of New Bedford’s economy and directly affected by the presence of the offshore wind industry soon to permeate the area. He explained how the Port is already working to prevent conflict between multiple users and that the siting of offshore wind plants must be strategically planned with regard for other marine users. Anthes-Washburn expressed how the Port’s natural resources paired with the growth of East Coast commercial fishing and offshore wind could create economic prosperity.

Panel Discussion

All presentations can be found on the CLG webpage.

  • Sue Coakley Executive Director, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, said that buildings are underutilized as a flexible electric system resource but noted that building-energy rating and labeling as well as integrated demand-side solutions could create more efficient buildings and meet grid needs. Also, she said that the grid of the future entailed a two-way power flow dependent on responsive buildings.
  • Brett Feldman Principle Research Analyst, Navigant Research, said that CEDSM, or Customer Engagement through Demand Side Management, is necessary for propelling energy efficiency. He explained how automation, rewards programs, and user-friendly online access can promote energy customer engagement.
  • Wendy O’Malley VP PACE Program Manager, MassDevelopment, explained PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, a tax assessment-based financing mechanism that allows owners of commercial, industrial, multi-family, nonprofit, and residential properties to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy projects, and more. She said PACE financing for Massachusetts commercial properties will be available in 2018.
  • Andy Haun Microgrid Chief Technology Officer, Schneider Electric, said that advanced microgrids, which are integrated energy systems consisting of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources that can be controlled as a single entity, could help create a new energy landscape. He also explained how Schneider Electric’s new technology could elevate energy efficiency.

ISO New England Update

ISO New England reviewed highlights of the 2018 Summer Outlook, the 2018 CELT Report, and the 2017 Annual Markets Report. The ISO also shared key findings of the Operational Fuel-Security Analysis, explaining the different ways in which the ISO is working to address fuel-security challenges.

2018 Meeting Dates and Locations

Subsequent 2018 meetings are scheduled for September 20 and December 6 at locations to be announced. The CLG Coordinating Committee has two main goals for upcoming meetings:

  1. Enhance the group’s social media presence using its new Twitter handle – the CLG can be followed at @CLG_NE.
  2. Collect and implement written ideas for future meetings from meeting attendees.
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