gary@garynsmith.net
Mississippi
601-691-1496

MS Moving Toward Energy Efficiency Policy

Energy Conservation is important to every Mississippian. I’ve received an invitation to participate in our state’s future energy efficient policies and I’d like to invite you to do the same. Here’s how you can get started.

Last week, 25x’25 posted a blog article outlining the current process at the Mississippi Public Service Commission in considering the establishment of energy efficiency programs and standards (http://blog.25×25.org/?p=1918.)    The Commission recognizes the importance of energy efficiency programs and wishes to establish programs and standards that fit the needs of Mississippi ratepayers.  The Commission opened Docket 2010-AD-2 to provide homeowners, businesses, industry, utilities, etc. the opportunity to provide comments on what programs are best and how they should be delivered.  Also, a collaborative process for considering and developing meaningful energy efficiency standards is currently ongoing.  It will be extremely important for consumer advocates, business interests, and concerned citizens to get engaged and make public comments at the appropriate time.  Please let me know if you are interested in learning about how you can become more involved in this process.  My contact info is:

Brent Bailey

601-573-4815

bbailey@25×25.org

See Brent’s article below.  To sign up for his weekly newsletter, please go to www.25×25.org.

Efforts underway in Mississippi to establish statewide energy efficiency standards and programs reflects a growing trend among officials in Southeastern states who are recognizing the value of conserving energy use as a means of achieving economic growth and a clean energy future.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission is engaged in a formal process that is expected by the end of the year to launch the creation of efficiency standards and programs that advocates believe will meet the common needs of Mississippi’s consumers, businesses and generation utilities.

The commission has solicited input from the state’s public and investor-owned utilities, environmental groups and other stakeholders, including the Mississippi state 25x’25 Alliance, through a formal collaborative process to develop recommendations that can guide the regulatory body in the creation of policy tools that lower energy bills for consumers and improve the competitiveness of businesses.

Energy efficiency, which is the option of first choice under the 25x’25 Vision for a clean energy future, is also seen by Mississippi advocates as a means of improving the state’s and national energy security, stabilizing energy prices for consumers and base load generators, reducing the need for construction of new generation capacity, enhancing electrical and natural gas system reliability, and reducing air pollutants and other emissions.

25x’25 State Activities Coordinator for the Southeast, Brent Bailey, reports that Mississippi is closely following efficiency standard development most recently undertaken by Arkansas in the recruitment of major stakeholders, including power utilities, to help state officials examine various energy efficiency policies. He says Mississippi also joins Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina and other states in the region in efforts to reduce market and regulatory barriers, implement the necessary codes and standards, and increase the public visibility of energy efficiency as an energy resource.

This collaborative effort among in-state stakeholders can result in viable energy efficiency standards that have the input of the people with the expertise to fully evaluate candidate energy efficiency programs, to measure cost-effectiveness, to determine what makes good utility performance incentives, and to establish energy and demand savings goals and targets.

Mississippi officials should be commended for recognizing that the state stands at a turning point in its energy future. The 2009 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard issued by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy ranked Mississippi 49th in its measurement of overall energy efficiency policy. State officials understand that not only do Mississippi consumers lose the benefits that come with efficiency programs and policies, but other states continue to draw economic development by building upon these programs and policies.

The Mississippi PSC has taken up the challenge of facilitating the implementation of the proper mix of technologies, programs and incentives that will help reduce overall energy demand and drive positive results. The commission recognizes that consumers want to be in control of their energy consumption, and that energy efficiency programs should be a substantial part of the strategy to meet customers’ future energy needs. Mississippi regulators are working to provide consumers with multiple tools that permit them to be better stewards of their power consumption.

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