Rhode Island enacted legislation in 2006 requiring the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to establish standards for system reliability, energy efficiency and conservation procurement, including standards for energy supply diversification, distributed generation, demand response, and "prudent and reliable" energy efficiency and energy conservation measures. These standards and guidelines, which were adopted by the PUC in 2008, must be reviewed at least once every three years. Each electric and natural gas distribution company must submit to the PUC for review and approval every three years -- beginning September 1, 2008, and ending September 1, 2017 -- a plan for system reliability, energy efficiency and energy conservation procurement.
Additional legislation enacted in June 2012 (H.B. 8233) requires utilities to support the installation of efficient combined heat and power (CHP) systems at commercial, industrial, institutional and municipal facilities. Each utility must specify in its annual efficiency program plan how it will do so. Proposed plans must be approved by the state's Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council.
In addition, Rhode Island Statute 39-2.1.2 requires each electric distribution company to include a surcharge per kilowatt-hour delivered to fund demand-side management programs, which are implemented by the electric distribution company. The electricity surcharge took effect January 1, 2008, and will remain in place through December 31, 2017. Similarly, each gas distribution company must include a surcharge per decatherm delivered to fund demand-side management programs. The gas surcharge took effect January 1, 2007, and will remain in place through December 31, 2017. The PUC determines the surcharge levels, which are not specified by the statute, for electricity and gas delivery.
In July 2011, the PUC approved energy savings targets for National Grid for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Specifically, National Grid must design its energy efficiency plans with the goal of reducing energy consumption by 1.7% in 2012, 2.1% in 2013 and 2.5% in 2014. These goals are intended to achieve electricity savings of 128,570 MWh in 2012, 158,820 MWh in 2013 and 189,068 MWh in 2014. Capacity savings for summer and winter demand were also established. The PUC also approved gas efficiency savings targets of 0.75%, 1.0% and 1.2% of load in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. National Grid must design its gas efficiency plans with the goals of saving 263,738 MMBtus in 2012, 338,120 MMBtus in 2013 and 427,100 MMBtus in 2014.