Rhode Island Approves Bills to Encourage Efficiency and Renewables

On June 29, 2006, Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri signed a comprehensive energy bill designed to encourage the use of energy efficiency, renewable and distributed energy systems (small power systems owned by the customer and connected to the grid). The legislation requires the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to set new standards for procuring energy from diverse sources, including renewable energy systems and distributed energy systems. By 2008, each utility in the state has to submit plans – to be updated every three years - for procuring these energy resources, including goals and target percentages for each resource. The energy bill also establishes new criteria to facilitate the siting of wind power facilities, creates a $7 million fund to support investments in renewable energy, and increases the rebates to consumers who purchase energy efficiency equipment. To help establish long-term energy plans, the legislation creates the Office of Energy Resources. Governor Carcieri also signed S 2844 on June 23rd, requiring the PUC to establish new energy efficiency standards for seven residential appliances by June 2007.

Press Release
Legislation on S 2844
Map of States with Appliance Efficiency Standards