Insights from Our Experts

Pushing water uphill: Putting power behind the renovation wave

By Louise Sunderland
For some time now I have been struck by the irony of the European Commission’s chosen name for its building renovation policy package, the “renovation wave,” given that increasing the rate of renovation has been like pushing water uphill. Currently, we renovate only around 1% of the European building stock each year to reduce energy use. This stubbornly ... Read More

How we reduced our energy bills by 60%

By Jan Rosenow
A year ago, I announced that we had replaced our six-year-old, reliable gas boiler with an air source heat pump. “Ripping out a perfectly well functioning gas boiler before the end of its natural life and replacing it with a heat pump is misguided. It won’t reduce much carbon,” I was told. “Let’s find out,” I thought, and estimated the carbon savi... Read More

Connecting Cities to the PUC Process

By David Farnsworth
As municipal policymakers take increasingly active roles in moving their cities through the energy transition, they need to know their way around their states’ utility regulatory landscape. RAP and our partners at the Building Electrification Initiative (BEI) tackled this topic recently, inviting representatives of both city governments and state utility commis... Read More

Extra Credit: Maximizing the Benefits of Solar in Schools

By Dara Torre, Janine Migden-Ostrander
While across the country America’s schools have been shuttered this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sun continues to shine. More than 1,000 megawatts of installed solar capacity from nearly 5,500 K-12 school buildings continues to generate clean energy and cost savings. With decreased electricity consumption from closures, sizable amounts of so... Read More

China’s Watchdog for State-Owned Enterprises Grapples With Coal-Fired Generation

By Max Dupuy
The future of China’s power sector, which accounts for about a quarter of the world’s annual consumption of coal and a still-growing fleet of coal-fired generation units, is one of the central questions for world climate policy. Within China, the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Agency have been coordinating a power sector re... Read More

Power Sector Transformation and Economic Recovery in China

By Richard Sedano
The good news is that coal is struggling around much of the world because the business case for coal-fired power is diminishing year by year. In competitive procurements around the globe, portfolios of clean energy — wind and solar especially — are winning, and winning big. This is happening despite efforts from coal generating companies to advocate policymak... Read More

Transition to just

By Louise Sunderland
The global experience with the coronavirus crisis is shining light on the precariousness of everyday life for low-income and vulnerable households. As we are forced to stay at home, higher household energy bills put further pressure on already stretched household budgets. The pandemic is also reminding us that good outcomes for all rely to a great extent on good ... Read More

Net zero is nowhere in sight for UK clean heat policy

By Jan Rosenow, Samuel Thomas
For months, we have been waiting for the UK government’s proposal for the future of clean heat policy. After committing to a net-zero carbon target for 2050, the need to take aggressive action now to drive down emissions from heating became clear. Surely the government would announce something bold or step up support for climate-friendly heating technologies? W... Read More

The EV Transition Is a Challenging Journey, but State PUCs Are Taking the First Steps

By David Farnsworth
RAP’s recent publication, Taking First Steps: Insights for State Utility Commissions Preparing for Electric Transportation starts with the observation that "while no one state agency has clear responsibility for it, utility commissions are taking their first steps toward understanding and developing the electric transportation sector in their state." Several... Read More

Synchronizing the Electric Regulatory Response to COVID-19

By Jim Lazar
The COVID-19 crisis is influencing every aspect of the global economy, and electric utilities are certainly seeing significant impacts. Before utility regulators take actions to adjust revenues or rates to reflect COVID-19 impacts, it is important to identify and quantify the broad range of impacts so that those that increase costs or reduce sales can be appropri... Read More