Infrastructure Committee: Energy Efficiency Plan

At the Infrastructure Committee’s December meeting, Austin Brandt presented the three-year energy efficiency plan developed by Cape Light Compact.

He explained that the plan is a product of the 2008 Green Communities Act. In lieu of building more power plants, their focus is on cost effective energy storage and other active demand management technologies. The plan adds cost-effective strategic electrification, authorizes renewables, and changes cost-effectiveness requirement from program level to sector level.

Cape Light Compact has met with the Department of Energy Resources and the Attorney General, and is asking for letters of support to submit to the Department of Public Utilities, which has authority over how programs are funded and implemented.

The power of municipal aggregation is to go above and beyond what the state does. As an energy efficiency municipal aggregator, Cape Light Compact is required to submit this plan, which includes specific program enhancements for residential customers:

  • Continue with cost effective no cap insulation offer
  • Continue to serve all electric customers who contact the Compact regardless of how they heat their homes.
  • Continue offering 100% insulation incentives to our renter and moderate income customers
  • Continue to explore ways to serve our hard-to-reach customers – low and moderate income customers aren’t signing up for an audit, busy working, etc.
  • Provide Battery Storage and Active Demand Response
  • Behavior Offering Home Energy Report (this is done statewide)
  • Strategic Electrification Offering for 700 residential customers: convert oil, propane, electric resistance heat to cold climate heat pumps; install PV systems to support electrification of heating system; install battery storage for demand response; tiered incentives based on income.

In the Strategic Electrification Offering, Cape Light Compact proposes to install battery storage in customer homes for demand response, reducing load rather than turning on additional power plants. The more we can reduce the peak hours, the more customers save. There is no benefit to the customers aside from having power during outages. The Compact has dispatch rights for 10 years. When they’re not using the battery storage (during an outage, for instance), the customer can use it.

For Commercial & Industrial customers, Cape Light Compact proposes

  • Up to 100% effective incentives for municipalities (so they don’t have to plan it in the budget)
  • 100% cost effective incentives for eligible non-profits
  • 100% cost effective incentives for year-round tenants of commercial buildings
  • Serving oil, propane, other fuel customers
  • Continuing to offer Main Streets (group buying to get better rates)

The consensus of the group was to present a letter of support to the CCTC board for approval.

Hyannis Broadband
The project has received good support but there is still work to be done before the project can move forward.

One of the issues encountered was difficulty getting emergency response (shark strikes happened after the season had ended, so no lifeguards were on duty). OpenCape has been looking at what would be required to get connectivity to 9 sites from Nauset to Race Point, and an Infrastructure Committee member has reached out to companies doing shark mitigation. More information will be available at the January 2019 meeting.

The Army Corps of Engineers is having a meeting at Bourne High School. Representatives from the Infrastructure Committee will attend and report at the next meeting.

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