NOTE: H.B. 8354 enacted on June 2016 extended the customer benefit charge of 0.3 mills/kWh until end of 2022. This charge was set to expire at the end of 2017.
Rhode Island law allows its electric distribution companies to collect two sets of public benefits charge to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
Renewable energy programs are funded by a charge of 0.3 mills (0.03 cents) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of sales of electricity. This benefit charge was established in July 2007 and will remain in effect till December 31, 2022. Renewable energy fund is administered by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and is held and disbursed by the electric distribution company as directed by the RI Commerce Corporation.
Another separate benefits charge is included to fund demand side management programs. HB 5900 enacted in June 2015 extended the system benefit charge to fund demand side management program for 15 years thus expiring in 2023. This fund is administered and implemented by the electric distribution company and is subject to regulatory review of the Public Utilities Commission. The rate and total amount of funds to be collected for the demand side management is set by the Public Utilities Commission.
Each gas distribution company in RI collects a nominal charge per deca therm delivered to fund demand side management program. The funds are collected and administered by the utility, subject to Public Utilities Commission review. The program is set to expire on December 31st, 2023.
Beginning August 2015, each electric and gas utility except for Pascoag Utility District and Block Island Power Company shall remit two percent of the total fund collected to the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank upon its request.