Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC), a nonprofit research center at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law, released a publicly-available model that projects the effect that a range of pending public policy measures would have on electricity rates. This model if the first of its kind that projects customer rates for a single electric utility service territory.
"While some information exists about the impacts of many pending energy- and climate-related policies at the state level, this is an attempt to model the combined effects on a single region.” says Scott Anders, director of EPIC. "We believe this will be a valuable tool to for those involved in energy policy and planning at the local and state levels. The results will be of interest to anyone in the region concerned about future rates.”
The model, which was developed by a team of leading California energy consultants and supported by NRG Energy and the Utility Consumer's Action Network (UCAN), calculates changes in rates due to increased renewable energy use, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and distributed solar photovoltaics, among others. It allows users to change many of the inputs and to test the effect of different combinations of policies.
“The model estimates the integrated effects of increased renewable energy requirements and the carbon constraints,” Anders said. “For example it is possible that prices increases but customers bills remain the same as energy efficiency reduces overall consumption. It is necessary to understand these complex interactions and not to evaluate a single policy in isolation.”
To demonstrate the model and to review results, EPIC will host a workshop on December 2nd from 9am-12 noon. The model developer will be available to answer specific questions about the model structure and assumptions used. For more information about the workshop, please see the EPIC Events Page. NRG Energy generously sponsored this workshop.
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