Among energy efficiency advocates, “decoupling” is the word of the day. Last year, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities issued an order decoupling utility rates from sales volume, joining California on the front lines of this issue. The point of decoupling is to eliminate utilities’ rate-based incentive simply to sell more and more power, thus making it easier for utilities to get behind demand management measures.
Congress is now grappling with the decoupling issue as it considers whether to require that states implement decoupling as a quid pro quo for stimulus money related to energy efficiency and conservation. Last week,… More