The Northwest Power and Conservation Council, the region’s official power planning agency, has just released the draft of its seventh regional power plan. The public now has 60 days to provide written reactions and opportunities to attend and testify at public hearings in all four Northwest states.
Issues: Consumer Protection
Electricity is a necessity of modern life. The Energy Coalition advocates programs that provide home weatherization and bill assistance so that low-income families don’t lose their service or suffer exorbitant energy costs. And all residential utility costumers deserve protection from poor electric service and unfair rate hikes.
The Benton Public Utility District showed off its Ely Community Solar Project to its customers Wednesday and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. An array of solar panels is lined up on the PUD property, visible from Highway 395 at the 10th Avenue intersection. The project has been operating since July 1, and those who invested will see savings on their next monthly electric bill.
The NW Energy Coalition and several member organizations are urging a strengthened commitment to economic equity in the 7th Power Plan. In a July 8 letter, the groups note Bonneville Power Administration’s ongoing shortfall in extending the benefits of energy efficiency measures to low- and moderate-income families. All energy customers pay for utilities’ energy efficiency programs in their bills, but those on limited incomes often cannot take advantage of the product and services incentives those programs provide.
This fall and spring, NW Energy Coalition staff have been working in state legislative sessions throughout the region to advance and especially to defend clean and affordable energy laws. Each legislature is different, but many of the issues being addressed are familiar ones: energy efficiency, including building codes; renewable energy incentives and targets; distributed generation options, particularly resident-sited solar power; and coal plants and climate. Low-income protection and electric vehicle infrastructure are also getting legislative looks.
K.C. Golden, senior adviser for Climate Solutions, and Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, insist that our leaders must do more to address climate change and inequity issues. They point out that through advancing energy efficiency, we can create jobs, save bill-payers’ money, reduce climate pollution and build healthier communities.
NW Energy Coalition and other Clean Energy Scenarios Stakeholders submit comments on PacificCorp's Integrated Resource Plan
The “Clean Energy Scenarios Stakeholders” (NW Energy Coalition, HEAL Utah, Idaho Conservation League, Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance, Powder River Basin Resource Council, Renewable Northwest and Sierra Club) have submitted comments for the PacificCorp’s 2015 IRP modeling process concerning proposed carbon price and solar PV scenarios. Click here to read the comments.
Thirty-one community action agencies, clean energy businesses, environmental advocates and other public-interest groups have joined the NW Energy Coalition in urging the Bonneville Power Administration to improve energy efficiency services to low-income families. BPA can help its customer utilities better serve their low-income populations by providing energy efficiency programs that will lower their bills and reduce shut-offs.
The NW Energy Coalition has released a pair of fact sheets addressing regional salmon scientists’ proposed experiment to measure survival gains from spilling more water over federal hydropower dams to aid the ocean-bound migration of Columbia Basin endangered wild salmon than is now required by the federal court. Court-ordered spill has increased returns of adult fish, and many regional scientists have concluded that additional spill could raise those returns even further – potentially to recovery levels for some of the endangered stocks…
A combination of rulings that some are calling the most important utility regulatory decision in decades paves the way for Puget Sound Energy to boost energy efficiency savings, make low-income families’ homes more livable and facilitate a fair and orderly end to coal-fired power production in WA state…
For 75 years, the Bonneville Power Administration has been intrinsic to the growth and prosperity of the Northwest. BPA has been a boon to the Northwest’s economy and a clean energy leader. To meet the challenges – many unforeseeable — of the next 75 years, BPA must deepen its commitment to the long-term health of the region while becoming more open to all of its stakeholders. And it must be agile enough to respond to big changes…