Worcester Business Journal Special Editions

December 19, 2016

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Page 18 of 39

Worcester Business Journal • www.wbjournal.com • 2017 Economic Forecast 19 SUSTAINABLE LIGHTING TO REDUCE COSTS Northeast Efficiency Supply (NES) 10 Dorrance St., STE 700 Providence, RI 02903 401.500.2812 SPECIALTY LIGHTING DISTRIBUTOR NES' executives have over 50 years of experience in the lighting industry and have retrofitted over 20 million square feet of space. With a deep understanding of utility efficiency programs, construction logistics, and manufacturing nuances, NES is the premier distributor for ESCOs and end-users alike. SERVICES INCLUDE: • LIGHTING AUDIT SERVICES • LIGHTING RETROFIT DESIGN Utility incentives provide LED lamps and fixtures to commercial accounts at little to no cost Partner distributor of • PROJECT MANAGEMENT • POLE TESTING Court rules ratepayers not on the hook for pipeline costs The Supreme Judicial Court dealt a blow in August to Gov. Charlie Baker's efforts to increase the flow of natural gas to the region, ruling that utilities cannot ask electric ratepayers to help finance the construction of gas pipelines. The decision immediately threw the future of a proposed major new gas pipeline project -- Access Northeast -- into question, and will force the Baker administration to rethink its energy strategy as it prepares to execute on a new law authorizing the purchase of large-scale hydropower and offshore wind resources. In a opinion written by recently retired Justice Robert Cordy, the state's top court said the pipeline tariff would "reexpose ratepayers to the very types of risks that the Legislature sought to protect them from" with a 1997 law restructuring the electricity market. The ruling marked a significant win for environmental groups and policy leaders on Beacon Hill who have argued that additional natural gas capacity is not required to meet the region's energy demand, and would run counter to the state's goals of decreasing reliance on fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Department of Public Utilities in October 2015 concluded that it had the authority under existing law to approve long-term contracts by utilities like Eversource and National Grid for the purchase of natural gas capacity that would allow for the cost of pipeline construction to be passed on to ratepayers. By creating a financing mechanism for expanded pipeline capacity, energy officials were seeking to improve access to cheap gas and limit the state's expo- sure to price spikes during period of high consumption when expensive power on the spot market has to be purchased to meet demand. Engie Gas & LNG, which ships liq- uefied natural gas into the Boston area, and the Conservation Law Foundation challenged the new rules in court. "We continue to believe that Massachusetts and New England's nat- ural gas capacity needs can be met most efficiently by existing LNG infra- structure available to the region, diver- sifying the region's portfolio into renewables, and continuing to encour- age and reward energy efficiency and energy storage," ENGIE Gas & LNG said in a statement. Simply Beter. Member FDIC Member SIF Equal Housing Lender Call us today at 508.765.7389 and start experiencing Simply Better commercial banking from Savers Bank. Uxbridge • Southbridge • Sturbridge • Charlton • Grafton • Auburn saversbank.com ∙ 800.649.3036 Dedicated to the Success of Your Business, and ready to meet your commercial banking needs. • Commercial Lending • Business Checking • Cash Management • Business Savings North Central Massachusetts Chamber CEO Roy Nascimento, who has pushed for more pipelines W

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