ST. LOUIS (AP) __ Missouri regulators approved new rules this
week that will give utility companies incentives to invest in
promoting energy efficiency.
The administrative rules were needed to implement a state law
designed to boost energy efficiency programs in Missouri. The law,
approved in 2009, allows utilities to earn the same profit on an
efficiency investment as they do for investments into power plants
or other capital, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday.
Robert Clayton, who had been the commission’s chairman until
earlier this week, said the energy efficiency rules marked a new
era of rate-making and policy for utility regulators. The rules,
approved by a 4-1 vote earlier this week, seek to compensate
utilities for programs that encourage customers to use less power.
Clayton said energy efficiency should be “one of our priorities
in improving how we communicate with utility customers and as we
plan for future energy needs.”
Missouri utilities have long-established energy efficiency
programs, but those efforts have been slow to expand.
A draft copy of a study commissioned by the Public Service
Commission estimates that Missourians could save more than $5
billion in electric and natural gas costs over the next decade
through efficiency steps such as fixing drafty houses and swapping
out old appliances. Regulators commissioned the report last fall,
and it was produced by Massachusetts-based KEMA.
Copyright Associated Press