April 2024 Newsletter – GiveBIG, Pathways Initiative Update, and more!


GiveBIG now through May 7-8!

Join us for GiveBIG 2024 – two days of online giving May 7 and 8 across Washington state. 

Here’s your chance to help support the NW Energy Coalition’s work to advance clean, equitable, and affordable energy policies. Thanks to you, NWEC works hard every day to create a smarter and more resilient energy system that prioritizes energy efficiency, renewable energy, storage, clean fuels, transportation electrification, consumer protection, and salmon recovery. 

Thanks to NWEC Board members and donors, we have a $10,000 match. Every dollar donated to NWEC now through May 8 will be matched one to one. 

Clean & Affordable Energy Conference

We hope to see you at our Clean & Affordable Energy Conference on May 7 in Boise, ID! 

Welcome to our new Coalition staff member, Mike Goetz!

Mike joined the Coalition in April 2024 as a Senior Policy and Regulatory Counsel. Previously, Mike served as general counsel for Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board for eight years, where his practice focused on utility regulatory matters before the Public Utility Commission. Prior to that role, Mike completed an Energy Law & Policy fellowship through the University of Oregon and worked as an attorney at various public interest non-profit organizations. Mike serves on the executive committee of the Oregon State Bar’s Energy, Telecom, and Utilities section and serves as the Chair of the Board of Renewable Northwest. Mike attended the University of Oregon School of Law, graduating with a J.D. and a certificate of completion in Environmental and Natural Resources Law and received a B.S. in Earth Systems, Environment & Society from the University of Illinois. In his free time, Mike enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest on skis, bicycle, and by foot. 

In the States, on the Ground


The Washington State Department of Commerce is moving forward with an assessment of all state electricity use to inform the procurement of new, non-hydro renewables. Originating from a budget proviso adopted by the 2023 legislature, this effort is intended to take Washington state load, including state agencies, universities, prisons, and office buildings, off the federal hydrosystem to support salmon recovery efforts, starting with the biggest electricity users first. We’ll keep you updated on the assessment as it unfolds. 


Pacificorp (PAC) released an update to its 2023 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), in which the utility shows its plans to meet new load growth and state clean energy requirements. Unfortunately, the IRP update shows substantially reduced levels of new solar, wind, and battery storage. At the same time, the IRP update also signals plans to extend the life of coal plants in Utah and Wyoming. Although PAC says it’s still able to meet its step-by-step energy goals, this IRP update would make that a steeper hill to climb. 


Last month, Idaho Power Company (IPC) filed its prudency review of its energy efficiency and demand response programs in 2023. The application shows incremental savings of 15.9 average megawatts (aMW) in 2023, a decrease of 29,883 megawatt hours (MWh) compared to 2022. Idaho Power also achieved a maximum of 216 MW of non-coincident peak demand reduction, out of a potential of 316 MW. The low-income weatherization program is essential to help lower energy bills for the utility’s most vulnerable customers, however the IPC data shows that the program struggles to be cost effective. There is a public comment period open before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, and IPC customers are encouraged to voice your support for important programs like low-income weatherization. To leave a comment on this case (IPC-E-24-11), fill out this form


In February, over 40 Montana businesses and organizations, including the Coalition, filed a formal rulemaking petition with the Public Service Commission (PSC) (see news release). The petition includes a request for rulemaking to consider climate risks in the PSC’s regulation of Montana gas and electric utilities. The petition cites the constitutional right to a clean and healthful climate as reaffirmed in Held v. State of Montana. As per Montana Statute, the PSC has up to 60 days to either accept the petition and begin the rulemaking process. A public hearing inviting comment on whether to open a formal rulemaking process was held on April 8th. The Commission has until April 28th to make its decision. 


The West-wide Governance Pathways Initiative released its Phase 1 Straw Proposal on April 10 towards the goal of a unified regional energy market in the West with the widest footprint possible and an independent governance structure. The Pathways Initiative lays out a three-step process to build on the success of the Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM) with the Extended Day-Ahead Market (EDAM), including a new independent governing authority to oversee the EDAM. A strength of the Pathways Initiative is that it’s a west-wide collaboration between states, utilities, developers, labor and advocacy organizations. 

Commonplace across the US, regional energy markets with a wide footprint can connect abundant clean energy across a diverse geography, deliver substantial cost savings, and improve grid reliability during extreme weather events. Read our latest blog post for more details on the Pathways Initiative and check out the latest press release to learn how to submit feedback on its straw proposal by May 8. 

If you were a vending machine, what would you give?

Beth Brooks, Development Director

Banned books, free children’s artwork for your fridge, recipes for date scones, wildflower seeds, traveling watercolor kits, vouchers for dill pickles, Ella Fitzgerald CDs, and a collection of tea bags.

Lauren McCloy, Policy Director

Bad puns

Nancy Hirsh, Executive Director

I would give out flowers! They always make me smile.

Alessandra de la Torre, Policy Associate

A vending machine that takes your favorite flower or earthly smell and bottles it into a natural perfume for you.

Matt Joyce, Communications & Events Coordinator

Fruit smoothies

Support our work to accelerate the Northwest’s transition to a clean, affordable, and equitable energy future.