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Jerrold Oppenheim MAS 2017


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Presentation at Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference on March 17, 2017

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Jerrold Oppenheim MAS 2017

  1. 1. Grassroots, Government, and Environmental Justice Jerrold Oppenheim Massachuse3s Sustainable Communi8es Conference Beverly, Massachuse3s March 17, 2017
  2. 2. First this warning . . . Jerrold Oppenheim 2 Mass. Health NEIs
  3. 3. Sixties Jerrold Oppenheim 3 Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce
  4. 4. Sixties for Energy Utilities • No contested rates • Winter shutoffs • Late charges at usurious rates • Security deposits for service • No low- income rates • No cash assistance • No arrearage forgiveness • Volume discounts • No energy efficiency Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 4
  5. 5. Forty years later... • AG, others contest rates • No winter shutoffs • No Late Charges • No Security Deposits • Low-Income discounts 25%+ • Fuel Assistance •  Forgive arrears • No volume discounts • U8lity energy efficiency - $737M incl. $98M LI • Health benefits • Subsidize solar Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 5
  6. 6. Leveraging crisis • 1970s Oil Crises • 1980s Nuclear Cost Overruns • 1990s Deregula8on • 2000s Climate Change Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 6
  7. 7. “Overnight success” •  1982: EE Cost Recovery •  1983: EE Required as Least Cost •  1987: U8li8es Blink Lights to get Seabrook -- Commission says “Fix Outage Planning” •  1987: Coali8on forms, Collabora8ves design, oversee EE •  1988: EE costs, plans Pre- approved •  1990: Integrated Resource Management •  1994-1997: Restructuring Nego8a8ons, Coali8on reconvenes •  1997: Restructuring enacted effec8ve 1998 •  1998: Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN) •  2000: Cost-effec8veness Guidelines Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 7
  8. 8. 1997 “Restructuring” •  Deregulated electric genera8on •  Promised rate decreases did not happen •  Though probably no increases either •  Codified u8lity energy efficiency -- expanded in 2008 •  Codified customer protec8ons •  Guaranteed low-income energy efficiency •  Community Ac8on Programs •  Expanded measures Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 8
  9. 9. Low-Income Energy Efficiency •  Weatheriza8on and air sealing •  Hea8ng systems •  Appliances and ligh8ng •  Comprehensive •  Good jobs •  100% Quality Control •  Innova8on (R&D) Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 9
  10. 10. Low-income EE so far • About 200,000 homes weatherized • 130 contractors, 94 auditors, good wages • Savings 20% (air sealing), 10% (electricity), 20% (hea8ng system) • Health and other benefits • Saved 1400+ low-income housing units • Innova8on: cost-effec8ve air source heat pump hea8ng, LED ligh8ng Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 10
  11. 11. Rooftop Solar (PV) Subsidies •  Net metering, Solar Credits •  But low-income benefits? •  Increase LI discount to offset LI payments for subsidies they cannot afford to use •  Extend to other u8lity costs? •  City of Newton community solar project Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 11
  12. 12. Some advocacy lessons •  Long-term •  Incremental progress is progress •  Persistence •  Ask for all you need •  But be ready to nego8ate •  Assess strengths and weaknesses •  Focus •  Coali8ons •  Surprising allies: u8li8es, business customers •  Don't have to agree on everything •  Remember AG, General Court •  Find Champions •  Professionals •  Become essen8al to decision-makers •  Develop rela8onships Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 12
  13. 13. Future? •  Solar, storage, and other distributed genera8on •  Finance with house? •  Tax to support social obliga8ons now supported by u8lity rates? •  Energy efficiency •  Internet control of refrigerators, other appliances to reduce on-peak use and thus lower rates? But privacy? •  New cost-effec8ve measures, e.g., ASHPs? •  Comprehensive, quality-controlled EE for all? •  Healthy homes -- integrate delivery with EE? Jerrold Oppenheim Grassroots, Government, and Jus8ce 13
  14. 14. Thank you. Jerrold Oppenheim Democracy And Regula8on 57 Middle St., Gloucester, Mass. 01930 +1-978-283-0897 Jerrold Oppenheim 14 Mass. Health NEIs
  15. 15. Jerrold Oppenheim Santa Fe 2015: The Regulatory Compact 15 About the Speaker Jerrold Oppenheim is an independent consultant and a3orney who has advised and represented low-income and other u8lity consumer advocates, government agencies, labor, and u8li8es interna8onally for more than 40 years. A graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School, he led u8lity li8ga8on and argued precedent-seong cases for four A3orneys General in New York State and Massachuse3s; for Legal Services in Boston, Chicago and New York City; and for the Na8onal Consumer Law Center. He was the first to intervene in u8lity regulatory cases on behalf of low-income consumers. He founded the Renewable Energy Technology Analysis project at Pace University Law School and is now a member of the Center for Public U8li8es Advisory Council, New Mexico State University. He has spoken and published on four con8nents, including Democracy And Regula8on with Theo MacGregor and Greg Palast, published by Pluto Press (London) and winner of the ACLU Upton Sinclair Award.