Coalition, allies urge Council to push low-income energy efficiency in the 7th Plan

The NW Energy Coalition and several member organizations providing low-income energy services across the region are urging a strengthened commitment to economic equity in the 7th Northwest Power and Conservation Plan.

In a July 8 letter to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, 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.

The groups, including community action agencies and service providers in all four Coalition states, want BPA to assure that low-income customers receive benefits in proportion with their numbers within utilities’ service territories. The Council has endorsed that principle in previous power plans and should continue the push in the 7th Plan, the groups say.

The letter also calls for steadily whittling down the backlog of low-income homes in need of weatherization services, extending conservation incentives to some moderate-income households and supporting BPA’s regional low-income workgroup.

As the letter says, “increasing energy efficiency program penetration and home weatherization has and will benefit energy consumers throughout the region.”

In addition to the NW Energy Coalition, signees include:

•    A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity (Wash.)
•    The Energy Project (Wash.)
•    Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho
•    Community Action Partnership of Oregon
•    District XI Human Resource Council, Inc. (Mont.)
•    South Central Community Action Partnership (Idaho)

Read the letter here.