EEU Program Funding
Funding for the Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) Program is derived from three separate sources: the Energy Efficiency Charge (EEC), revenues from Vermont’s participation in the ISO New England Forward Capacity Market, and revenues from Vermont’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
EEC funds are collected from electric and natural gas ratepayers based on their energy consumption (for example, the number of kWh of electricity or ccf of gas consumed). These revenues are then used by the EEUs to fund programs that reduce the consumption of electricity or natural gas. The current EEC rates are set by the Commission each year using the process and methodology set forth in Commission Rule 5.300.
EEU funding is also derived from Vermont’s participation in the Forward Capacity Market. EEUs bid the electric savings into the Forward Capacity Market and receive payments based on the amount of electric capacity that the regional electric grid does not have to provide.
In addition, EEU funding is derived from revenues associated with Vermont’s participation in RGGI. Under the RGGI program, electric generators that emit greenhouse gases are required to purchase allowances for each ton of emissions. The revenues from these sales are provided to the EEUs to implement efficiency programs.
Revenues from Vermont’s participation in the Forward Capacity Market and RGGI are used for the thermal energy and process fuels (TEPF) efficiency program, which supports reductions in the use of unregulated fuels such as propane, fuel oil, or woody biomass.
Budgets and Planning Cycle
Under Vermont law, the Commission may establish an energy efficiency charge on regulated fuels for the support of electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs. In doing so, the Commission is required to provide a “reasonably stable multiyear budget and planning cycle.” To accomplish this, the electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs operate on a three-year budget cycle. Every three years the Commission conducts a Demand Resources Plan (DRP) proceeding to identify short- and long-term energy efficiency budgets and savings goals, as well as other compensation matters related to the delivery of energy efficiency services by Vermont's EEUs.
DRP process is used to determine three-year electric budgets and estimated TEPF budgets for Efficiency Vermont, Burlington Electric Department (BED), and Vermont Gas Systems, Inc (VGS). The DRP process is also used to determine the three-year performance targets for the three EEUs.
Under VEIC’s Order of Appointment, performance compensation is to be paid based on the attainment of three-year performance targets. The performance targets include corresponding incentive amounts attached to each and the financial consequences for under-performance.
Under BED’s and VGS’s Orders of Appointment, three-year performance targets are determined. There are no performance incentive payments associated with these performance targets.
The Commission is currently conducting the DRP proceeding for the 2018-2020 performance period, which will result in electric, natural gas, and TEPF budgets and savings goals for Efficiency Vermont, BED, and VGS. Information about the current DRP proceeding can be found in ePUC.
Current EEU Budgets and Performance Goals
The Commission established the following budgets for efficiency services during the 2015-2017 performance period
- Electrical Budget $52.2 million
- TEPF Budget $7.1 million
- Electrical Budget $56.2 million
- TEPF Budget $7.7 million
- Electrical Budget $58.7 million
- TEPF Budget $8.3 million
The DRP proceeding for the 2015-2017 performance period established EEU budgets and performance goals for Efficiency Vermont and BED:
- Order re EEU Budgets for Demand Resources Plan
- Order Determining QPI Targets for Efficiency Vermont and BED
- Order re Revised TEPF Budgets and Revised Performance Targets for Efficiency Vermont
At the time of the DRP proceeding for the 2015-2017 performance period, the Commission had not appointed a natural gas EEU. Therefore, the DRP did not address natural gas budgets. Since that time, the Commission has appointed VGS, as the natural gas EEU, and has established the following budgets:
Vermont Gas EEU budgets for the 2015-2017 performance period
- 2016 VGS EEU Budget $3.06 million
- 2017 VGS EEU Budget $3.22 million
Budgets and performance goals for VGS’s natural gas efficiency services for 2016 and 2017 were established in:
- Order re VGS Energy Efficiency Budgets for the Transition Period
- Order QPI Targets for VGS
EEU Annual Plans
Prior to the start of a new three-year performance period, an EEU is required to develop a Triennial Plan that provides the strategy the EEU will employ to achieve energy savings over the three-year performance period. Prior to the start of years two and three of a performance period, an EEU is required to develop an Annual Plan update.
The Commission conducts a workshop each year as part of its review of the triennial plans and annual updates of the EEUs.