So far 2016 has been a banner year for important actions at public utility commissions. Several significant policy decisions and activities are paving the way for the innovation at electric and gas utilities and moving demand-side operations into the 21st century. Hats off to everyone working on these exciting efforts – these are great steps forward!
Illinois and New York
The New York Commission ordered that utilities can capitalize software as a service subscription fees, making clear that regulators support a level playing field for software, whether on premise or in the Cloud. This order follows the lead of the Illinois Commission which is also writing new rules to account for utility purchases of cloud software.
A new utility commission order for New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision instructs utilities that credit they receive for energy savings above targets must be measured by Evaluation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) 2.0 tools. This class of real-time measurement software will provide the proof utilities need to claim greater savings than their goals.
The California Public Utility Commission approved a groundbreaking new pay-for-performance program for residential energy efficiency. The approval allows for EM&V 2.0 software to measure the savings. The software must use rigorous methods that incorporate relevant comparison groups to accurately measure savings.
A report by Synapse Energy Economics filed with the Virginia commission recommends Virginia utilities to jointly develop EM&V 2.0 pilot projects for the residential and commercial sector to assess a number of benefits to EM&V, market assessment, program delivery, process evaluation, and program planning.