For several years now, Rhode Island has been a national leader on energy efficiency programs and policies. The legislature transformed the state’s Clean Water Finance Agency into the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB), and created an Efficient Buildings Fund within the RIIB to finance energy upgrades in public buildings. The fund will dovetail well with a December Executive Order from the Governor directing emissions reductions in government buildings through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adoption of a building energy stretch code.
The Rhode Island Energy Efficiency Resource Management Council and Public Utility Commission (PUC) are continuing their commitment to energy efficiency with the 2020 Efficiency Program Plan, which targets energy savings of 2.37% of 2015 electrical load and 1.09% of the natural gas load. The plan will also track savings in MMBtus and estimates that ~5.1 million MMBtu’s will be saved. By tracking this metric the savings from delivered fuels can be accounted for.
In 2017 the State developed its own cost-effectiveness test called the Rhode Island Test based on principles from the National Standard Practice Manual. The test is built off of the robust TRC cost standard to more fully reflect the policy objectives of the state with regard to the costs and benefits of energy and its environmental and societal impacts. The Rhode Island Test was first used to assess the benefit/cost of the 2018-2020 energy efficiency plan. The RI Test increased the benefit-cost ratio for each year of the program when compared to the original TRC test. The 2020 annual EE plan updates estimates that the benefit-cost ratio for electricity and delivered programs is 4.64 and for 3.28 for natural gas.
These efforts support the policy objectives outlined in the state's recently issued long term energy plan, Energy 2035, as well as their Systems Integration Rhode Island Initiative, which recommends continued support and enhancement of least cost procurement policies, while suggesting their expansion to all fuels. They are also a part of the state’s Power Sector Transformation (PST) initiative which aims to create a regulatory framework that supports a clean and flexible electric grid. Governor Gina Raimondo launched the PST to help achieve her goals of economic stimulus through reduced energy costs, job creation, and increased investment in the power sector, as well as reduced carbon emissions
Rhode Island has adopted the 2015 IECC and is looking to adopt the 2018 IECC in the fall of 2020. They also have voluntary residential and commercial stretch codes as of February 2018 thanks to the Lead by Example initiative and Executive Order 15-17 signed by Governor Gina Raimondo. These initiatives are pushing Rhode Island towards the front of the climate change and energy code advancement movement. Policy and Program Information
Policy and Program Information
Rhode Island at a Glance
|Direct Jobs in Energy Efficiency||12,773|
|Electric Efficiency Program Expenditures||$84.71 million|
|Gas Efficiency Program Expenditures||$27.8 million|
|Per Capita Expenditures||$105.51|
|Electric Savings||265,040 MWh|
|Electric Savings as Percent of Retail Sales||3.58%|
|Gas Savings||5.1 million therms|
|Gas Savings as Percent of Retail Sales||1.32%|