State and Local Policy Database

Rhode Island

State Scorecard Rank

4

Rhode Island

39.5Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 5 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

The state devotes a portion of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative revenues to programs for energy efficiency upgrades. In addition, the state has an active PACE financing program. The state government leads by example by requiring efficient public buildings and fleets, benchmarking energy use, and encouraging energy savings performance contracts. Research focused on efficient efficiency is conducted through the Energy Fellows Program at the University of Rhode Island.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial incentive information for Rhode Island is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Rhode Islandand State Energy Office contacts. Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here. In addition to the state-funded incentives on DSIRE and below, Rhode Island has enabled Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has one active program. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation. The Rhode Island Infratructure Bank (RIIB) administers the state C-PACE program and Efficient Buildings Fund for the state.

LED Streetlight Program: $3.8 million in RGGI funding shall be allocated to assist state agencies and municipalities make cost-effective, energy saving investments in LED (light emitting diode) lighting and associated control technologies. This program will be jointly administered by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Office of Energy Resources.

Efficient Buildings Fund: Administered by the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, this revolving loan fund finances energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for municipally owned buildings and school facilities, as well as quasi-governmental agency buildings.

Block Island Saves: The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) has allocated $500,000 of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funds to help New Shoreham residents and small businesses improve their energy efficiency.

Charge Up!: Offers incentives to state agencies and municipalities interested in installing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE or charging stations) at publically-accessible facilities, and supports the purchase or lease of electric vehicles (EVs) for integration into public sector fleets.

Last Updated: August 2017

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place, however, a working group consisting of the Office of Energy Resources, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, National Grid, and the Rhode Island Realtors Association was formed in 2014. The group developed a work plan to begin taking steps toward eventual legislation mandating energy disclosure for the residential and commercial sectors. Recognizing that such a mandate could be controversial, the state is starting by developing relationships, building a knowledge base, and piloting a voluntary program.

Last Updated: July 2017

Public Building Requirements List All

In December 2015, Governor Gina Raimondo signed Executive Order 15-17, establishing a Lead by Example program within the state's Office of Energy Resources (OER) to oversee and coordinate efforts at state agencies to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It also requires the State Energy Office to post State energy usage publicly, which shall include energy use for each State agency and progress in reducing energy usage below the fiscal year 2014 baseline, and state agencies are required to achieve a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2019, from a FY 2014 baseline. OER must establish annual interim goals and work with National grid to develop strategic energy plans. In addition, by 2017 OER must coordinate with partner agencies to establish a voluntary stretch building code based on the International Green Construction Code, or equivalent, for all public and private construction and renovation projects. The state has several other energy benchmarking efforts underway, requiring governmental borrowers from the Efficient Buildings Fund to track energy for at least five years. The University of Rhode Island Energy Team works with municipalities and school districts to do energy benchmarking using Portfolio Manager (and develop public energy management plans). In addition, OER and National Grid have been working to automate a process for uploading all public building energy data upload into Portfolio Manager in early 2018.

In January 2013, the State of Rhode Island signed onto the Better Buildings Challenge, which committed the State to reducing energy consumption in state facilities by 20% by 2020 below 2010 levels. In partnership with the University of Rhode Island, RI Office of Energy Resources (OER) developed an energy data inventory that includes of electricity and natural gas consumption for 100% of state building square footage. The state is in the process of matching properties with energy data and is seeking proposals for a web-based utility bill management application to streamline reporting and tracking capabilities.

The state has also established the Rhode Island Public Energy Partnership (RIPEP), which is a 3-year (2012-2015), U.S. Department of Energy-funded collaborative effort to achieve deep energy savings in state and municipal facilities and build a sustained, effective infrastructure for ongoing savings. Led by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, RIPEP brought together the Office of Energy Resources, National Grid, URI Outreach Center, Narragansett Bay Commission, Energy Efficiency and Management Council, and other key public and private sector representatives. The project completed in 2015 and achieved the following results:

  • Established energy data baseline inventories for all public facilities, including 546 municipal, 331 school and approximately 900 state facilities, for a total of about 1,777 facilities.
  • Performed 39 energy audits covering over 1.8 million square feet.
  • Implemented 123 energy efficiency projects for total energy savings of 28.6% or 4,748 MMBTU.
  • Utilized over $5 million in rebates and on-bill repayment funds, including $2.5 million in RGGI funds, to support project implementation.
  • Identified barriers to implementing energy efficiency in the public sector then addressed these barriers through master price agreements, expanded and enhancing financing and incentive options, and extensive technical assistance.

In addition to recent programs, The Green Buildings Act (November 9, 2010) requires that all major facility projects of public agencies be designed and constructed to at least the LEED certified or an equivalent high performance green building standard. Under the Green Buildings Act, the Department of Administration is responsible for monitoring and documenting ongoing operating savings that result from this Act and annually publish a public report of findings and recommended changes in policy. Additionally, the Act required the Department of Administration to create a green buildings advisory committee composed of representatives from the design, construction, lumber and building materials industries involved in public works contracting, personnel from affected public agencies and school boards that oversee public works projects and others at the department's discretion to provide advice on implementing this section. The advisory committee makes recommendations regarding an education and training process and an ongoing evaluation or feedback process to help the department implement this section

Last Updated: August 2017

Fleets List All

Per the new Executive Order 15-17, the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance ("DCAMM"), within the Department of Administration, in coordination with OER, is developing strategies for reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions from the State fleet, with the goal of ensuring that a minimum of 25 percent of new light-duty state fleet purchases and leases will be zero-emissions vehicles by 2025.

Executive Order 05-13 (August 22, 2005) requires that state fleet purchases of motor vehicles comply with the Energy Policy Act of 1992 by ensuring that a minimum of 75% of new vehicles purchased are alternative fuel vehicles and the remaining 25% are hybrid-electric vehicles. All new light duty-trucks in the state fleet will achieve a minimum of 19 mpg city for the fleet and be certified as at least a low-emission vehicle. All new passenger vehicles will achieve a minimum of 23 mpg city for the state fleet. The order also discourages the purchase of sport utility vehicles, calling on all state agencies to purchase the most economical, fuel-efficient and low emission vehicles appropriate to the mission.

The Lead by Example initiative has given Rhode Island state government an opportunity to lead by example by increasing the number of zero-emissions and partial-zero-emission vehicles (electric, hybrid electric) and compressed natural gas vehicles in the State Fleet. As of May 22nd, 30 vehicles have been ordered. Increasing the number of zero-emissions vehicles is a critical part of the States goal to reduce both transportation related air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Electric, hybrid electric and compressed natural gas vehicles can help increase energy security, improve fuel economy, lower fuel costs, and reduce emissions.

Last Updated: July 2017

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources lists ESPCs as one of the main ways it promotes energy efficiency and cites funds used to engage energy service companies to use ESPCs.  The state provides a model contract and a list of qualified ESCOs.

Last Updated: July 2017

Research & Development List All

The University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension created the Energy Fellows Program to place students with various energy companies, agencies, and organizatins throughout the state to get workforce training and learn about Rhode Island energy issues. Most of the 2017 participants conduct research and outreach on energy efficiency. 

Last Updated: August 2017

Buildings
Score: 5 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

Residential and commercial buildings are required to comply with the 2012 IECC with state-specific weakening amendments. The state is currently reviewing the 2015 IECC. Rhode Island has completed a comprehensive set of activities to ensure code compliance.

Residential Codes List All

On July 1, 2013, Rhode Island formally adopted the 2012 IECC for residential buildings, with state-specific amendments. The code went into effect on October 1, 2013 and is mandatory statewide. While Rhode Island is a home rule state, towns are not permitted to adopt a code that is different from the state's. The code contains several amendments that diverge from the ICC published version of the 2012 IECC. The residential code utilizes the 2009 IECC insulation tables, which is not as rigorous as the 2012 IECC.  Rhode Island requires performance testing but does not require that the air exchange rate meet code. While there is no current stretch code, as part of the Rhode Island’s Energy Efficiency Procurement Plan, a Building Codes & Standards Initiative has been approved by the RI Public Utilities Commission, and a stated feature is the development of a “stretch” code targeting “15% more energy than buildings constructed according to the prevailing path.” This effort is being pursued in conjunction with the RI Building Code Commission and the RI Builder’s Association.

Issued in December, 2015, Executive Order 15-17 directs the Office of Energy Resources to coordinate with the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, National Grid, and the Green Building Advisory Committee to establish a voluntary aspirational or stretch building code based on the International Green Construction Code or equivalent by 2017. The group aims to develop a draft residential stretch code by July 1, 2017 and formalize the adoption of the code by December 31, 2017.

Last Updated: July 2017

Commercial Code List All

On July 1, 2013, Rhode Island formally adopted the 2012 and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 IECC for commercial buildings, with state-specific amendments. The code went into effect on October 1, 2013 and is mandatory statewide. The Rhode Island commercial code pulls some strengthening amendments from the 2015 IECC however also weakens provisions of the code. One weakening amendment divides the state into two climate zones; the ICC published code has only one climate zone for Rhode Island. While Rhode Island is a home rule state, towns are not permitted to adopt a code that is different from the state's. In 2013, Rhode Island mandated that all state buildings adhere to the International Green Construction Code. While there is no current stretch code, as part of the Rhode Island’s Energy Efficiency Procurement Plan, a Building Codes & Standards Initiative has been approved by the RI Public Utilities Commission, and a stated feature is the development of a “stretch” code targeting “15% more energy than buildings constructed according to the prevailing path.” This effort is being pursued in conjunction with the RI Building Code Commission and the RI Builder’s Association.

Issued in December, 2015, Executive Order 15-17 directs the Office of Energy Resources to coordinate with the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, National Grid, and the Green Building Advisory Committee to establish a voluntary aspirational or stretch building code based on the International Green Construction Code or equivalent by 2017. The group aims to develop a draft commercial stretch code by December 31, 2016 and formalize the adoption of the code by July 1, 2017.

Last Updated: July 2017

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: The baseline code compliance studies noted below included a comprehensive survey of all stakeholders in the building and code industry, with an emphasis on code officials. This survey offered a host of recommendations for strategic planning and subsequent improvement in code compliance and better building. These findings were integrated into the strategic planning for the Code Compliance Enhancement Initiative – only one piece of Rhode Island’s long-term plan on the advancement of codes.
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: Various evaluation studies related to building code compliance have been conducted by National Grid. The 2011 residential code compliance baseline study, the 2012 C&I code compliance baseline study, the 2013 CCEI savings and attribution logic evaluation study, and the 2016 C&I code compliance study are the most recent studies. There are also on-going evaluation studies such as a residential code compliance study and a saving attribution study.
  • Utility Involvement: National Grid works with / coordinates with the RI Building Code Commission to provide trainings and support aimed at improving code compliance with the energy code in the RI Code Compliance Enhancement Initiative. National Grid is also actively involved in strategic planning and coordination with the RI Building Code Commission, OER, and other partners. National Grid is able to claim savings associated with the codes initiative as approved by the RI PUC.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: Since 2011, the RI Building Code Commission, NEEP, and National Grid have been working collaboratively on code advocacy, stretch code, and code compliance strategies. This collaborative approach led to the formalization of the Code Compliance Enhancement Initiative and will continue to monitor and oversee the implementation of the Initiative across the State in the coming years. Other active participants include the lead training vendor and the Energy Efficiency & Resource Management Council.
  • Training/Outreach: National Grid has provided code compliance support since 2013. The Code Compliance Enhancement Initiative (CCEI) aims to increase the ability and desire of the code enforcement system, design community (architects and engineers) and the construction community (contractors, builders and construction managers) to meet the locally mandated building energy code. National Grid works closely with the Rhode Island Building Code Commission to develop and deliver this initiative and has partnered with a number of stakeholders such as the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) and the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC). Efforts include classroom trainings, webinars, focus groups and on site demonstrations, as well as the development of an array of compliance documentation tools.

Last Updated: July 2017

CHP
Score: 3.5 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

The state offers incentives for CHP deployment and includes CHP as an eligible resource within its energy efficiency resource standard. Two new CHP systems came online in Rhode Island in 2016.

Interconnection StandardsList All

In 2011, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed General Law 39-26.3 “Distribution Generation Interconnection,” with the stated finding that “expeditious completion of the application process for renewable distributed generation is in the public interest. In November, 2011 the RI PUC adopted a tariff titled, “RIPUC #2078, Standards for Connected Distributed Generation,” for which CHP is eligible. The tariff is for renewable interconnecting customers as well as interconnecting customers, and, therefore, covers all forms of fuel. Additionally, the tariff applies to systems greater than 10 MW. 

Under tariff #2078, National Grid offers a three-tiered (Simplified, Standard, and Expedited) interconnection processes for distributed generation, including CHP. A project's review path is determined by project characteristics including generation type, size, customer load, and the characteristics of the grid where the system is to be located. Maximum total review days depend on review type, ranging from 15 days for a Simplified Review to 120-150 for a Standard review (usually complex projects). These standards were cited as supportive policies in the 2015 Energy Efficiency Program Plan which was approved by the Rhode Island PUC. 

Last Updated: August 2017

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

CHP in energy efficiency standards: Rhode Island established an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard in 2006 requiring regulated utilities to submit three-year energy efficiency resource plans, which explicitly include CHP as an eligible resource. Legislation passed in June 2012 (H.B. 8233) requires utilities to support the installation of efficient CHP systems; each utility must specify in its annual efficiency program and how it will do so.

CHP programs: In 2012, Rhode Island's Least Cost Procurement statute was amended to include a new CHP provision to encourage the consideration of its additional benefits. See R.I.G.L. § 39-1-27.7(c)(6)(ii) through (iv). Today, National Grid Electric implements a CHP Program that is designed to acquire cost-effective CHP energy resources (like other efficiency resources). All of Rhode Island is served by National Grid and the utility provides eligible CHP projects with a combination of energy efficiency, performance rebates, and advanced gas technology incentives. The total incentive package cannot exceed 70% of total project cost and is subject to budgetary limitations and caps.

Production goal: For 2017, National Grid has a target of 1.5 MW of installed CHP capacity that corresponds to 11,250 MWh of savings. Will the number of projects and sizes many vary, the target is estimated to be achieved through three installations. 

Revenue Streams: CHP systems have access to production incentives through National Grid's CHP Program. For any project greater than 1 new MW, a performance-based energy efficiency incentive, capped at $20/kW-year ($1.66/kW-month) for a period of up to ten years, is available.

Last Updated: August 2017

Deployment IncentivesList All

Incentives, grants, or financing:  Incentives, grants, or financing:  National Grid’s CHP Program provides capacity incentives ranging from $900/kW to $1250/kW, depending on two factors: (1) the efficiency of the CHP system design, and (2) the host customer’s commitment to implement other energy efficiency measures that reduce onsite energy consumption. The combined incentives awarded to a single project cannot exceed 70% of the project costs. For more information, see National Grid’s Guide to Submitting CHP Applications for Incentives in Rhode Island (Version May 2016).

Net metering: Applicable only to renewable energy systems, Rhode Island’s net metering rules are capped at fairly small system capacity limits.

Last Updated: August 2017

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

Some additional supportive policies encourage CHP in Rhode Island. The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has a policy intended to streamline air permitting for certain CHP systems. Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 43 creates an alternative permitting process (general permit) for certain emergency generators, CHP and other distributed generation projects. The general permit offers an administratively simpler process than the current minor source permitting process in APC Regulation No. 9. The application form is available here.

Technical assistance is also available, as outlined in its annual Energy Efficiency Program Plan. National Grid offers assistance by identifying and recruiting qualified CHP projects, conducting initial scoping studies, and providing up to 50% of the cost of independent engineering studies.

Last Updated: August 2017

Utilities
Score: 20 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Rhode Island has consistently achieved high levels of energy savings through its energy efficiency programs, and has some of the most aggressive energy savings targets in the country. One investor-owned utility, Narragansett Electric (a National Grid Company), administers and operates a portfolio of energy efficiency programs for its customers, which account for 99% of statewide sales of electricity. A public utility, Pascoag Utility District, also operates programs.  The Rhode Island legislature unanimously passed sweeping legislation in 2006, which, among other things, established the state's energy efficiency resource standard (EERS).  The Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 requires utilities to acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency. The act also establishes requirements for strategic long-term planning and purchasing of least-cost supply and demand resources, and three-year energy saving targets. Enacted in 2010, House Bill 8082 authorizes revenue decoupling for electric and natural gas utilities and requires utilities to submit proposals to implement these policies.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Energy efficiency programs are offered by Rhode Island's regulated distribution utilities. The major investor-owned utility operating in the state, Narragansett Electric, is a National Grid Company and offers a comprehensive slate of programs that parallel National Grid's offerings in Massachusetts. Hearings are held once a year before the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to review program plans. A collaborative of stakeholders reviews these plans and makes recommendations to the RI PUC on the programs. Program costs are trued up annually each May.

The Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 greatly increased the role and requirements for acquisition of demand-side resources—requiring utilities to acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency. The act also created a statewide natural gas conservation program.

Utility programs are funded by a "conservation and load adjustment factor"—a rider assessed on all customer rates established as part of Rhode Island's restructuring legislation. There is a minimum floor on this surcharge of 2 mills perkilowatt-hour for energy efficiency paid by customers of regulated distribution utilities as a non-bypassable public benefits fee specifically for energy efficiency programs.  The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission annually reviews and authorizes utility demand-side management program plans, including budget amounts. The fee to support energy efficiency is a floor; actual spending amounts have exceeded this minimum requirement.

Approved energy efficiency charges for 2016 are $0.00124/kWh for electric programs and $0.781/dekatherm for residential customer and $0.637/dekatherm for C&I customers.  A Demand Side Management program for Pascoag Utility District also exists, with a DSM charge of $0.0002/kWh.  A RGGI funded pilot EE program is also being deployed by the Office of Energy Resources to Block Island Power Company ratepayers. 

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Rhode Island has a legislative requirement enacted in 2007 for electric and gas utilities to acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency that costs less than new energy supply as the first priority resource, placing it first in a utility’s resource “loading order” and greatly increasing the role of energy efficiency in long-term planning. The Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 also establishes new requirements for strategic long-term planning and purchasing of least-cost supply and demand resources. Utilities in Rhode Island file plans that include specific energy savings goals. These plans are reviewed by the Public Utilities Commission.

Last Updated: July 2016 

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

Summary: Electric: 1.7% in 2012 ramping up to 2.6% by 2017. Natural Gas: ~0.4% of sales in 2011 ramp 1.1%.

The Rhode Island legislature unanimously passed The Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 in June 2006. This act establishes a Least Cost Procurement mandate—requiring utilities to acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency with input and review from the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC). Under the Least Cost Procurement mandate, National Grid is required to participate in strategic long-term planning and invest in all energy efficiency that is cost-effective and cheaper than supply on behalf of its customers. 

The act also established requirements for strategic long-term planning and purchasing of least-cost supply and demand resources. Utilities must submit 3-year and annual energy efficiency procurement plans, which offer program details, as well as spending and savings goals. Hearings are held once a year before the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to review program plans. Yearly incremental savings goals for electricity during the 2012-2014 period began at 1.7% increasing to 2.5% in 2014 (Docket 4284, 4295). Targets for 2015-2017 range from 2.5% to 2.6% (Docket 4443).

Rhode Island’s EERS policy also includes natural gas targets. Savings goals for the 2012-2014 period ranged from 0.6% in 2012 to 1.0% in 2014 (Docket 4284, 4295). Targets for 2015-2017 range from 1% to 1.1% (Docket 4443).

Last Updated: July 2016

Utility Business Model List All

Enacted in 2010, House Bill 8082 requires revenue decoupling for electric and natural gas utilities and requires utilities to submit proposals to implement these policies. In 2011 National Grid proposed a revenue decoupling mechanism which was approved by the Public Utilities Commission (Docket No. 4206). 

Rhode Island has had a shareholder incentive for electric and gas since 2005 and 2007, respectively. The Narragansett Electric Company, d/b/a National Grid (NG) can earn incentives for both electric (kWh) and gas (MMBtu) savings. There is a target base incentive rate of 5% for both electric and gas in 2010 applied to the eligible spending budget for 2010. The threshold performance level for energy savings by sector is set at 75% of the annual energy and demand savings goal for the sector (Docket 4366). Further, in 2015, the Commission approved 30% of the target electric program incentive to be based on demand savings, while the remaining 70% will be based on energy savings (Docket 4527). 

Last Updated: July 2016

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Cost-effectiveness test(s) used: TRC
  • Uses a deemed savings database: no

Evaluations are mainly administered by the utilities. Rhode Island has formal requirements for evaluation. Statewide evaluations are conducted. Deemed savings are used by the utility in evaluating cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs.  Evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs relies on regulatory orders and the Least Cost Procurement Standards approved in Docket 4443. National Grid also provides a Technical Reference Manual, and has offered to the PUC access to an online Technical Reference Library, both of which show savings and costs on a measure level.

Rhode Island relies on the Total Resource Cost (TRC) test and considers it to be its primary cost-effectiveness test. The benefit-cost tests are required for total program level screening. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 requires utilities to acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency and establishes requirements for strategic long-term planning and purchasing of least-cost supply and demand resources, as well as three-year energy saving targets. In Docket No. 4580, National Grid’s Energy Efficiency Program Plan for 2016, funding for residential income eligible programs is set at 13.2% of total implementation funding for the electric programs, and 20% for natural gas customers. These levels were adjusted to 13% and 21%, respectively, for 2017 in Docket No. 4654.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Docket No. 4443 outlines incremental electricity savings goals for 2015–2017 and notes that the Energy Efficiency Resource Management Council recommended including resource impacts and non-energy benefits in the TRC test analysis, but only to specific programs or technologies such as income-eligible programs or combined heat and power. Although Rhode Island General Laws require the consideration of non-energy benefits (NEBs) in the development of combined heat and power, there does not appear to be a similar provision in the General Laws for income-eligible programs. In the absence of non-energy impact evaluations of Rhode Island programs, the state has relied on Massachusetts’ benefit valuation work, as they have similar program types (Woolf et al. 2013).

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Community Services is responsible for administration of the state’s WAP and LIHEAP programs. CLEAResult, which since 2013 has operated as the lead vendor for National Grid’s Income Eligible Services (IES) program, works collaboratively with DHS to deliver weatherization services to eligible Rhode Islanders. Although DOE funds and utility funds are not directly blended on DOE weatherization jobs, the relationship is beneficial to both parties by enabling sharing of energy efficiency knowledge and program expertise.

As an example, CLEAResult and DHS have formed a “Weatherization Technical Committee” (WTC), which meets on alternating months and is comprised of a technical representative from each CAP agency (i.e. an experienced energy auditor); the CLEAResult QA Manager; and the three state monitors to discuss best practices and develop policy on weatherization matters of a technical nature. DHS and CLEAResult have also worked collaboratively on the development of a RI WAP/IES Operations Manual which will incorporate all applicable elements of WPN 15-4

Last updated: April 2017

Data AccessList All

Rhode Island has no policy in place that requires utilities to release energy use data to customers or third parties. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Transportation
Score: 6 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

The state integrates transportation and land use planning, and devotes significant funding to transportation initiatives. Rhode Island has set tailpipe emissions standards and passed complete streets legislation.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

Rhode Island adopted California’s Low-Emission Vehicle Program in 2005, committing to a 30% reduction in average new vehicle greenhouse gas emissions from 2002 levels by 2016. The state has also adopted California's Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, which requires increasing production of plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel-cell vehicles from 2018 to 2025. 

Last Updated: July 2017

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land use integration: In 1988, Rhode Island passed the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act, making comprehensive planning mandatory for municipalities. In 2000, an Impact Fee Act was passed to ensure that new growth did not financially burden existing tax payers and that adequate facilities were built to support new or rapidly growing development. The state also revised its State Land Use Plan in 2006, incorporating a number of recommendations and policies to discourage urban sprawl. Chapter 31-18-21 of state code directs the department of transportation to provide for the accommodation of bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the planning, design, construction and reconstruction of state highways and roads.

VMT Targest: No policy in place or proposed.

Complete Streets: Chapter 16 and Chapter 31-18 of Title 24 outline the state's complete streets policy.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: Rhode Island has a state freight plan that identifies a multimodal freight network, but it does not include freight energy or greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Last Updated: July 2017

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2017

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

The Driving Rhode Island to Vehicle Electrification (DRIVE) rebate program offers rebates for vehicles purchased on or after January 29, 2016 though this program is currently suspended due to lack of funding. The amount of the rebate ranges from $500 (battery capacity less than 7 kWh) to $2500 (battery capacity over 18 kWh). 

Last Updated: July 2017

Equitable Access to Transportation:
Rhode Island does not have any state programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, but it does consider the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to qualifying property owners. Last Updated: July 2017
Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Policy: R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-27-1, et seq., Energy and Consumer Savings Act of 2005

Description: In 2005 the Energy and Consumer Savings Act established minimum energy efficiency standards for twelve commercial and residential products, nine of which were immediately preempted by the federal Energy Policy Act later that year, the last three preempted by federal standards effective January 1, 2010. In 2006, amendments were made to the 2005 legislation to create standards for an additional eight products, of which all but two have been preempted by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: bottle-type water dispensers and commercial hot-food holding cabinets. The Office of Energy Resources is the state agency responsible for the adoption and certification of efficiency standards in Rhode Island.     

In 2017, the State Energy Office testified in support of a proposed bill to expand appliance standards in the State in 2017: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText17/HouseText17/H6077.pdf

Last Updated: June 2017