Just eight months after the greatest blackout in the nation's history, Conservation Services Group (CSG), of Westborough, Mass., is taking a landmark approach to providing energy efficiency resources that will help reduce electricity use and enhance reliability.

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., April 22, 2004 - Just eight months after the greatest blackout in the nation's history, Conservation Services Group (CSG) is taking a landmark approach to providing energy efficiency resources that will help reduce electricity use and enhance reliability. Today, CSG announced an agreement with ISO New England, the operator of the region's bulk power grid, that will deliver four megawatts of on-peak energy efficiency to help Southwest Connecticut over the next four years. This agreement represents the first time that ISO New England has awarded a contract to purchase the on-peak megawatt savings from energy efficiency measures. The new contract is particularly timely as the warmer weather approaches and demand for electricity nears its peak.

Stephen L. Cowell is CSG's chief executive officer. He said, "Working with ISO New England to enhance reliability through long-term reductions in the need for on-peak power, is a precedent setting, unique partnership and a great victory for energy efficiency policy. We realize that energy efficiency can't do it alone, but it is certainly one of the cleanest and most economic ways to help reduce stress on the system and ensure reliability."

CSG's energy efficiency program for the ISO consists primarily of retrofitting buildings in Southwest Connecticut with power saving lamps and fixtures. CSG is targeting mid-sized to large buildings including multi-family housing projects, schools, warehouses and commercial facilities. CSG will be offering incentives to building owners to install measures through participating local energy services companies that are members of the Northeast Energy Efficiency Council. CSG will be coordinating its efforts with the local utilities that are also offering incentives for efficiency measures. The timeframe for the project is 18 months, beginning in April 2004.

In addition to securing an "energy efficiency" contractor, the ISO has signed several other firms to reduce load at times when the electricity grid's reliability is stressed through emergency generation, demand response and load management programs. According to CSG, its portion of the ISO's overall resource procurement is small, given its "first time" nature. CSG's efforts aim to provide about two percent of the overall resources needed, but it represents the introduction of a new strategy that may expand over time.

In proposing an energy efficiency project to ISO New England, CSG recognized the work of Environment Northeast, an entity that advocates for energy conservation throughout the region. According to Cowell, the group was instrumental in opening up the competition to energy efficiency, as well as more traditional approaches.

Environment Northeast Executive Director Daniel L. Sosland, said, "There is an enormous market for energy efficiency that we have only begun to tap. Energy efficiency can provide enormous benefits by relieving bottlenecks in our electric system and ensuring the reliable supply of power to our homes and businesses. It can do this while holding down the price of electricity and cleaning the air. We applaud the ISO and CSG for moving forward with this nationally significant recognition of the power of energy efficiency."

ISO New England is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for the day-to-day reliable operation of the region's bulk power generation and transmission system. For more information, visit CSG, now in its 20th year, provides energy-saving strategies, services and technologies to consumers and businesses nationwide.

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