Policy Frameworks for Energy-Efficient Power Systems: Arkansas Deep Dive
At the recent Energy Efficiency Global Forum in Washington DC, RAP principal Janine Migden-Ostrander showcased RAP’s deep dive project to create policy frameworks for energy efficiency in Arkansas. As part of the global Clean Energy Ministerial forum, RAP was tasked with selecting one state where it would assist in developing energy efficiency policies and programs. RAP met with Arkansas state Commissioners and their staff to develop an ambitious plan with specific, measurable outcomes, such as doubling energy efficiency targets, establishing an incentive structure for gas and electric utilities to improve efficiency, developing a statewide data reporting protocol, and moving the integrated resource planning (IRP) process from guidelines to comprehensive rules. What can others learn from this project? Creating a successful policy framework hinges on carefully selecting a team with the right expertise, being realistic about what can be accomplished in a defined timeframe, being willing to adjust work plans and schedules as needed to achieve the project goals, and placing the ultimate decisions in the regulators’ hands. To date, the project has celebrated milestones for developing and issuing a comprehensive energy roadmap order to increase the energy efficiency portfolio standard, creating a three-year incentive mechanism for utilities, increasing residential efficiency, and developing a statewide collaborative for both gas and electric utilities. Looking forward, RAP intends not only to expand the Arkansas project, but also to duplicate it in other states and other regions of the world.