The ability to control energy costs and sources is a key priority for many companies, and a growing number of corporations are specifically seeking opportunities to purchase advanced energy—a choice often backed by an internal sustainability or renewable energy target. Unfortunately, policy and regulatory barriers make it difficult or impossible for companies to access these resources in many states. With deep experience in energy issues, on-the-ground resources and relationships in states across the country, and members on both sides of the advanced energy procurement equation, AEE is working state-by-state to identify and pursue policy solutions that expand corporate procurement options through engagement at the legislative, regulatory, and/or utility level.
AEE’s work to expand corporate access to advanced energy is focused on:
- Direct engagement with legislators, regulators, and utilities to bring about policy change;
- Business intelligence providing the latest intel and updates about relevant legislative bills and PUC regulatory dockets that impact advanced energy procurement; and
- Thought leadership through publications, analysis, and regulatory filings (for past publications, see tab at left).
Companies participating in this work are engaged in one of two working groups: the Advanced Energy Buyers Group, a business-led coalition of large energy users seeking to increase their opportunities to purchase advanced energy; and AEE’s Access to Advanced Energy Initiative, a working group within AEE comprised of both purchasers and suppliers. Corporate purchasers interested in learning more about joining the Advanced Energy Buyers Group can find information here.
Advanced Energy Buyers Group
The Advanced Energy Buyers Group (AE Buyers Group) is a coalition of leading advanced energy purchasers who have come together to engage on the energy policy issues that will help them achieve their ambitious clean energy targets. By tapping into AEE’s existing energy policy expertise and state engagement network, and by working collaboratively with other companies, corporate purchasers participating in the AE Buyers Group will maximize the impact of their policy engagement on key issues such as:
- Options to access renewable energy offsite, such as by expanding access to competitive retail and wholesale markets, introduction of market-based rates and utility renewable energy tariffs, and development of shared or “community” renewable energy programs;
- Onsite purchasing policies, such as enabling onsite power purchase agreements and onsite leases to enable adoption of renewable energy and other advanced energy resources;
- Cost and logistical issues, such as utility fixed costs and permitting restrictions;
- Challenges and threats to corporate procurement, such as accounting for stranded assets, reconciling corporate procurement efforts with utility renewable energy and resource adequacy requirements, and addressing shifting grid needs.
In addition, members of the AE Buyers Group will have opportunities to:
- Leverage the collective voice of purchasers across industry segments to advocate for expanded access to energy options onsite and offsite;
- Engage directly and indirectly with legislatures, utility commissions, and utilities on issues chosen by participating companies;
- Draw on AEE’s expertise in policy issues across the advanced energy industry to develop policy positions, arguments, and analyses;
- Gain access to policy intel, education, and other support to strengthen their energy policy efforts.
Recognizing that changing the policy landscape is key to enable companies to purchase advanced energy how and where they want to, AEE has developed sample policies that states can enact to expand corporate access to advanced energy. These policies are a starting point to open up new options for customers.
AEE has also compiled a policy guide to help legislators understand why these policies are so important and how they can help businesses meet their energy needs. This guide includes an explanation of policy barriers that companies face, a state-by-state breakdown of available purchasing pathways, and case studies highlighting how these solutions have worked for customers.
The guide includes the following policies:
- Renewable Energy Tariffs: Three different policy solutions to enable large end users in traditionally regulated markets to procure energy from large offsite projects at competitive prices, without leaving their incumbent utility;
- Direct Power Purchase Agreements: A policy allowing companies to leave their incumbent utility to sign PPAs for advanced energy, provided that they follow provisions to avoid impacts for other ratepayers;
- Onsite Power Purchase Agreements: Legislation enabling third parties to provide power on a customer’s property;
- Shared Renewable Energy: A policy to establish shared energy programs for residential and non-residential electricity customers; and
- Utility Planning Coordination: A sample bill directing the state utility commissions to consider corporate renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and other energy-related targets when reviewing utility integrated resource plans and other relevant utility filings.
Reports and Filings
- Making Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasing Work for All Utility Customers (July 2017) - Based on case studies from states across the country, AEE identifies design principles to ensure voluntary utility renewable energy tariffs will deliver on potential benefits without impacting nonparticipants.
- Essential Elements of Next-Generation Renewable Energy Tariffs (July 2017) - This policy brief from AEE distills the six key elements to ensure that utility programs will meet the needs of customers.
- Giving Virginia Companies What They Want: Renewable Energy Options (March 2017) - This state brief from AEE explores the potential market for new renewable energy that could be unleashed if Virginia were to provide businesses with viable options to purchase renewable energy.
- 2016 Corporate Advanced Energy Commitments (December 2016) AEE reports that 71 Fortune 100 companies have set renewable energy or sustainability targets, up from 60 just two years ago.
- Private Procurement, Public Benefit: Integrating Corporate Renewable Energy Purchases with Utility Resource Planning (December 2016) - In a report for AEE Institute, the Center for New Energy Economy at Colorado State University (CNEE) explores the benefits of incorporating corporate renewable energy targets into the utility resource planning process.
- Opportunities to Increase Corporate Access to Advanced Energy: A National Brief (August 2016) AEE Institute commissioned Meister Consultants Group (MCG) to assess policy changes that states can enact to expand corporate access to renewable energy.
- AEE Direct Testimony in Dominion Energy’s Proposed 100% renewable energy offering (“Rate Schedules Continuous Renewable Generation”) (August 2017) - Docket ID PUR-2017-00060, forthcoming.
- AEE and Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council Comments & Reply Comments on Michigan Green Pricing Programs (April, May 2017) – Docket ID: U-18349.
- AEE Comments on Appalachian Power Company’s Proposed Renewable Energy Rider in Virginia (November 2017) – Docket ID: PUE-2016-00051.
- AEE Comments on Xcel Energy’s Proposed Renewable Connect program in Minnesota (November 2016) – Docket ID: 15-985.