American Gas - November 2013 - (Page 13)

california Rewards Program Utilities to get paid for encouraging energy efficiency SAn FrAnCISCo -The California Public Utilities Commission has approved an energy savings and performance incentive mechanism that will reward the four investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities headquarted in California for helping customers upgrade their homes and businesses to improve energy efficiency ( IbajR1O). For 2013 and 2014, California's four investor-owned utilities-Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Gas-can earn rewards up to a total of $89 million per year across the group for activities that promote energy efficiency. The utilities will earn incentive awards by meeting or exceeding goals in four performance categories: * Actual energy savings achieved, which represents roughly 70 percent of potential incentives * A constructive and collaborative effort during the review process associated with measurement and verification of energy savings * Implementation of non-resource programs such as emerging technologies, workforce education, and training * Effective advocacy for the development of new codes and standards both within California and at the federal level. "All four performance categories are essential to a successful portfolio, but this is the first time that any state has attempted to financially incent each of these key aspects explicitly," CPUC Commissioner Mark J. Ferron said in a statement. The CPUC's new mechanism provides a "carrot" to encourage utilities to implement even more pollution-reducing and money-saving programs, wrote Devra Wang, director of the California Energy Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a recent blog. "The commission's new incentive mechanism improves upon past efforts by rewarding utilities for maximizing longer-term energy savings, such as helping customers improve the efficiency of their entire home, rather than just focusing on their cheapest immediate savings-such as those from installing more efficient lightbulbs, for example. This new approach should spur more comprehensive and innovative approaches and provide greater air quality improvements and greenhouse gas pollution reductions." The CPUC move is part of a growing trend around the nation to reward utilities for helping customers save energy, Wang added. More than half the states now offer utilities incentives for energy-efficiency progress. -G.J. michigan Greenbacks for Green Fuel In a pioneering program, residential customers pay extra for biogas CLArIFICATIon: As reported in the October issue of American Gas (page 26), OneOK, inc. has received permission from its board to separate its natural gas distribution business into a new publicly traded company called One Gas inc. According to research conducted by morgan stanley & co., OneOK's financial advisor, this makes the new company the nation's only publicly traded, fully regulated, pureplay natural gas utility. One Gas will provide no electricity, construction services, or any other operations outside of its natural gas utility business. DeTroIT -Two thousand customers of DTE Natural Gas are paying $2.50 a month to support a two-year pilot program that brings converted landfill gas to residential pipelines, and the program still has a substantial waiting list. The Detroit-based utility launched the BioGreenGas program last year in partnership with Clean Energy Renewable Fuels, a major provider of natural gas fuel for transportation based in California. CERF invested $20 million in the infrastructure needed to turn biogas at Sauk Trail Hills landfill in Canton, Mich., into pipelinequality natural gas. DTE Pipeline Co. paid $2 million to build a pipeline from the landfill to its residential distribution system. The $2.50 a month extra that subscribers see on their DTE bill pays for the 10,000 decatherms of converted landfill that DTE purchased from CERF. (CERF will also provide Sauk Trail Hills gas to NGV fleets and other customers.) "We call them our 'affluent green' customers," DTE Vice President of Gas Sales & Supply Mark Stiers told American Gas in discussing the landfill gas customers. "They've subscribed simply because they are truly environmentally concerned." Though the company has done little advertising of the program, dozens more customers have indicated that they want to participate, Stiers said. The company is reviewing whether to continue and possibly expand the pilot program when it ends in April. So-called "affluent green" customers are paying $2.50 a month extra to turn a landfill's biogas into pipeline-quality natural gas. november 2013 AmericAn GAs 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Gas - November 2013

American Gas - November 2013
President’s Message
Subject Index
Head Start: On Energy Education
By the Numbers
Need to Know
The Wheels on the Bus...
New Jersey
Long Island
Fueling the Future
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
A Tight Ship
Expanding the Reach of the Gas Infrastructure
Company Profiles

American Gas - November 2013