Forest has a record of accomplishment on behalf of consumers and small business. He would be proud to bring that record to the PSC.
Forest Wright Accomplishments
Energy and Utility Policy
- State Renewable Energy Pilot Program Results
- Forest advanced policy that resulted in expansion of affordable renewable energy investment resulting in SWEPCO acquiring over 100 megawatts of low cost wind contracts at prices that were even lower than natural gas. The same policy also lead to a waste heat recovery project developed in Lake Charles that captures industrial waste heat byproduct for energy generation and increased electricity generated from sugar cane byproducts. Due to this policy, wind construction projects are now being considered by the state.
- Entergy Rate Increase Reduced by 95%
- Forest formally participated in settlement negotiations and went to bat for the public at the LPSC against Entergy’s $200 million rate hike on consumers until it dropped to $10 million.
- Protecting Net Metering
- Forest has been a strong advocate for individual rights to generating energy for one’s own use. Net metering allows customers to receive 1:1 credit for energy produced to the grid. Along with other state and federal incentives in place, Forest’s advocacy for the individual right to energy generation has helped launch a new sector of the state’s economy and created thousands of good local jobs.
Working for Lower Bills and Economic Growth
- Integrated Resource Planning – City Of New Orleans and State of Louisiana
- In response to the Little Gypsy boondoggle and subsequent bailout at the LPSC, Forest pushed for an IRP policy to require utilities to increase transparency and accountability for all future power plant projects. Utilities are now required to publicly evaluate all energy options for meeting demand over the next 20 years, including traditional power plants, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Affordability, reliability and risk are tested before major capital investment authorization decisions are made. The process is designed to ensure the public isn’t stuck paying the price for economically unjustified projects like Little Gypsy, which delivered no energy production benefit but wasted over $200 million at an average cost of $298 per customer. With Forest’s leadership, a similar IRP process in New Orleans is also in place.
- Energy Smart – New Orleans’ Energy Efficiency Program
- Forest played a lead role in developing Energy Smart, the New Orleans energy efficiency program that has saved the public millions of dollars, increased their property values, and helped inject money into the local economy with dollars that would have otherwise gone towards wasted energy. Following the success of the original $11 million three year budget, the program has been extended for an additional 4 years with budgets expected to grow by approximately 30% per year.
- State of Louisiana Energy Efficiency Program
- After succeeding at the city level in developing and launching Energy Smart, Forest led the effort to implement similar programs at the LPSC, overcoming utility resistance and obstruction by incumbent Eric Skrmetta. The first phase of the programs, known as Quickstart, has authorized budget levels of approximately $35 million, with significance expansion planned in Phase II. Successful utility scale energy efficiency programs have already been implemented in 46 other states.
Working for Business and Job Creation
- Build Smart Expo at New Orleans Home and Garden Show
- After Hurricane Katrina, Forest brought together energy efficiency, solar, and advanced building companies to exhibit their products and services as a major feature of the Greater New Orleans Home and Garden Show at the Louisiana Superdome. Workshops and a full scale model house were offered and later became the Build Smart Learning Center, a educational facility used year round for public education and workforce training.
- Workforce Development
- Forest developed the LA Green Corps which became a standalone nonprofit workforce training provider.
- Organized specialized certification training for Energy Raters in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources’ HERO program
- Worked with contractors to make radiant barrier an easy upgrade for customers looking to save money on their energy bills.
- The Building Block
- Forest is an owner of the Building Block, a business and nonprofit incubator for organizations and entrepreneurs making a positive social, economic, and environmental impact.
Working for Consumers
- New Orleans Customer Bill of Rights
- Forest helped create standards for consumer protection that provide unbiased recourse for Entergy bill disputes beyond the company’s customer service system.
- Directly Aided Homeowners
- Installed radiant barrier and other efficiency improvements in over 100 homes in the lower 9th ward.