Tell BPA to fulfill its energy efficiency commitments

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.

Here are the details:

BPA wants to more deeply cut its own energy efficiency funding in favor of increased “self-funding” by utilities … without holding utilities accountable through signed contracts or other means. BPA’s own materials indicate the probability that this shifting will cause the agency to fall short of its conservation acquisition responsibilities under the federal Northwest Power and Conservation Act and the 6th regional power plan.

The self-funding proposal comes on the heals of the just-completed Post-2011 Framework Review, in which customer utilities and stakeholders recommended no changes to BPA’s self-funding expectations. BPA has not been clear about its motivations for making a proposal that runs counter to Review recommendations.

Moving from capital to expense budgeting of energy efficiency is not ready for prime time – much more consideration is needed.  Shifting to expense will lead to large near-term rate increases and to more unneeded pressure to reduce the energy efficiency budget to reduce rate hikes. The associated proposal to extend Columbia Generating Station (nuclear plant) debt to fund energy efficiency is deeply problematic, as well.

The current budget for energy efficiency represents about 4% of BPA’s total power system budget. It serves no purpose to nickel-and-dime this cost-effective investment. Please join us in urging BPA to renew and strengthen its energy efficiency commitments. Tell the agency you oppose any increase in utility self-funding and the proposed move to expensing energy efficiency in the 2016-17 rate period.

Click here to submit your comments to BPA. The deadline is March 13.