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.
Resources & Publications: Energy Activist Classic
A repository for digital copies of the original, printed Energy Activist. Written for people who don’t analyze energy policy for a living, The Energy Activist helped Coalition members and allies keep track of often complex energy and salmon issues. Each edition explores a key issue affecting the Northwest’s energy future.
Washington’s strong energy and building codes often prove to be the state’s most cost-effective energy conservation measures. They reduce electricity and gas use, and save consumers money for years to come. But some business interests, including builders and realtors, want to squelch new energy code improvements. Their strategy is to legislate a more complicated code amendment process. Please tell chair Jeff Morris and other House committee members to reject SB 5804.
Scenario planning lies at the heart of the analysis used to develop the 7th Northwest Power and Conservation Plan. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council wants your help in selecting and shaping the scenarios to be used. The 7th Plan will guide utilities’ energy choices, theoretically for the next 20 years and practically for at least five. Please look over the proposed scenarios and let the Council – and us – know which ones they must consider seriously while developing the 7th Plan.
Your help is needed to bolster Bonneville Power Administration’s commitment to energy efficiency. BPA is examining energy efficiency financing issues as part of a supplemental budget process and has floated two troublesome proposals: one to cut $10 million from the efficiency budget over the next rate period; the other to shift from capitalizing energy efficiency to expensing it. BPA needs to hear from stakeholders throughout the region that both of these ideas run counter to the region’s best interests.
Northwest Power and Conservation Council staff expect significantly slower growth in energy demand over the next 20 years than was predicted in the 6th regional power plan five years ago. This means we can meet an even higher percentage of new load with energy efficiency – saving more money for families and businesses, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and cleanly powering our growing fleet of electric vehicles. Realizing those savings, and their benefits, will be a primary 7th Plan goal for clean and affordable energy advocates throughout the Northwest.
As part of developing the region’s 7th Power Plan, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s power committee is holding a webinar on specific generation resources tomorrow — Thursday, Jan. 29 — from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Pacific time. The posted agenda items are (1) assessment of natural gas natural gas peaking plants (single-cycle combustion turbines or SCCTs and reciprocating engines) and (2) assessment of onshore utility-scale wind.
Every five years, the region’s official power planning agency prepares an updated 20-year forecast of the Northwest’s electric power needs and a plan for how those needs should be met. The forthcoming 7th Plan will help us raise the bar higher, capitalize on our region’s clean energy success and set us on the course to a cleaner, more affordable and wildlife-friendly future. We need all hands on deck … starting now!
Northwest Power and Conservation Council seeks comments on direct natural gas use, aka 'fuel switching'
As it develops the 7th Plan, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is releasing a series of issue papers for public comment. This week the Council released its “Direct Use of Natural Gas Analysis,” with a comment period running through Feb. 20. Despite the potential thermal efficiencies of direct use, the Council has never considered switching from electric to gas heat to be conservation.
The newest edition of The Energy Activist chronicles the recent four-state hearing process for the Northwest Power and Conservation Plan.
In city after city, state after state, hundreds rallied and spoke for a Northwest Power and Conservation Plan to boost our use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.