Thursday, January 16, 2014

Presley: Utilities File Plans Aimed At Lowering Monthly Bills/Reducing Waste

“Quick Start” Programs to offer savings within four months
Jackson, Mississippi (January 16, 2014) – Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley today announced the first round of filings in response to the Commission’s groundbreaking rules aimed at slashing monthly utility bills through reduced waste. The plans filed this week, called "Quick Start" plans, were required of each electric and natural gas utility serving more than 25,000 customers. As the name indicates, "Quick Start" plans were designed to be quickly implemented in order to help develop utility processes, infrastructure, contractor networks and training prior to the full roll out of waste reduction programs across the state.

Examples of Quick Start programs being proposed include home and business energy audits, A/C tune-ups, rebates for energy efficient lighting and appliances, demand response measures, the weatherizing of homes and businesses, along with new home initiatives. If approved by the Commission, utilities must implement these programs within four months. Customer participation in these programs is optional.

“I am very pleased to see these meaningful proposals that are aimed at keeping more of each Mississippian’s money in their own pocket while reducing waste. These Quick Start programs will save customers money from day one, and I hope we can bring them for a vote before the Commission as quickly as possible so that residents and businesses can take full advantage of these savings,” Presley said.

The Commission’s energy efficiency rules were passed in July, 2013, with Quick Start plans required within six months. The next phase of the Commission rule requires Comprehensive Portfolio plans from all of the state’s utilities. In total, the rules will produce an estimated $2 billion savings directly to customers over the next twenty years and create 9,500 private sector, non-governmental jobs by the year 2020. The rules propelled Mississippi from the position of last in the nation in energy efficiency and earned the state the title of “most improved” state from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).