Gone but not forgotten dept.:
Efficiency Works! rides off into the sunset
In late 2008, the NW Energy Coalition initiated the Efficiency Works! project to accelerate Northwest businesses’ energy efficiency investments. The two-year project set out to make the business and policy cases for saving energy and to offer solutions to obstacles that sometimes slow efficiency investment. It sought to raise awareness, press policymakers into action and engage utilities in greater promotion of energy efficiency.
The project has laid important groundwork for realizing the central vision of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Sixth Power and Conservation Plan: meeting more than 85% of new electricity demand over the next two decades with cost-effective energy efficiency.
Efficiency Works! staff and consultants produced important analyses, including:
- The Power of Efficiency: Pacific Northwest Energy Conservation Potential Through 2020. This report and accompanying four-page summary details how the region can save enough electricity to meet a 10-year demand increase equal to the needs of five cities the size of Seattle. It also concludes the region can satisfy half the new natural gas demand during that period.
- Solving the Energy Efficiency Puzzle: Achieving Bigger Savings in the Pacific Northwest. This publication lays out in plain English solutions to the most common barriers to increased energy efficiency investment. The “Puzzle Paper” was distributed to more than 1,000 business and policy leaders across the region.
- Realizing the Power of Efficiency: Barriers, Opportunities & Solutions to Financing Energy Efficiency for Small and Mid-sized Businesses in the Northwest. This report detailing the business and policy landscape for financing energy efficiency projects has become a guide to policy discussions in the four-state region.
Meanwhile, the Efficiency Works! section of the Coalition’s website became a go-to resource for people interested in saving energy and cutting waste in their operations.
The project launched a “sticker campaign” to recognize thousands of businesses that participate in energy efficiency programs by providing them with window clings telling their customers that they share the Northwest values of common sense, waste reduction and environmentally sound energy efficiency. Original participants included Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Power and Avista Utilities.
Efficiency Works! staff made countless presentations and appearances at energy efficiency conferences. They played central roles in adoption of new and better energy codes in Washington and Idaho that set regional models. And the education work of Efficiency Works! helped make the Sixth Plan as good as it is.
The project’s two-year run has ended. But the archives of the Efficiency Works! website remains, and its Idaho and Montana staffers, Ron Whitney and Diego Rivas, respectively, continue to work for the Coalition in policy roles, as does Efficiency Works! coordinator, senior policy associate Kim Drury.
— John Healy