Why REAP Was Created
Electricity purchasing in a deregulated environment offers many opportunities for those entities that have the requisite expertise and organizational capability to create a vehicle to maximize savings in a deregulated marketplace. Unfortunately, many cities and towns had neither the expertise nor the purchasing clout to maximize their potential energy savings as they simply did not have an electric load profile (a pattern of use over time) that was capable of being leveraged to guarantee the best prices from energy suppliers.
As an umbrella organization for its members, the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, offered both the required expertise and vehicle by which cities and towns could "reap" the most benefits in a deregulated environment.
Cities and towns had already reaped a number of important benefits as a result of the League's initiatives and activities since the Rhode Island Utility Restructuring Act was passed in 1996. The League's numerous communications to its membership about utility restructuring fostered a greater awareness and understanding amongst local officials about the options that were available to them to capitalize on the opportunities in this new deregulated energy environment.
The League introduced legislation and secured passage of a law in 1998 to facilitate local government's purchase of electricity and energy services by exempting these purchases from our state laws. The League intervened in utility restructuring hearings at the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to make sure that the interests of cities and towns were understood and recognized by both utilities and their regulators. The League secured venture capital from a national technology organization, Public Technology, Inc., to finance the activities of its expert consultants on energy, Stone and Webster.