Two weeks and counting and the current Washington Legislature is in the thick of committee hearings. While solving the K-12 education funding problem is front and center (and likely will be throughout the session), the usual slate of energy legislation has been introduced. NEEC is closely following a few those bills.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has squarely placed one of their big toes in the water regarding the region’s historical analytical approach to assessing conservation potential. The Council accepted responses until the middle of December from firms interested in helping them assess the following;
The new year brings more political news than just the specter of the President Donald J. Trump administration, as both Washington and Oregon will convene new legislatures in tandem with two newly re-elected Governors. While Washington and Oregon begin their new biennial cycles, things look much like they did in 2016. In Oregon, Democrats control both chambers and the Governor’s office while Washington maintains the lone Republican stronghold in the Senate. In Washington, Gov.
On the heels of an unsuccessful statewide initiative to create a revenue neutral carbon tax, recently re-elected Governor Jay Inslee has proposed a carbon tax as a revenue source to fund the state’s court-mandated support of K-12 public education. The ambitious Inslee plan would generate $4.4B in new revenue through a combination of the carbon tax, a capital gains tax, and closing a set of current tax exemptions.
In February 2016, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council released the Seventh Power Plan. This plan identifies the energy efficiency savings potential in the Northwest and establishes a regional savings goal. BPA has committed to achieving a share of the goal established in the Power Plan and developed the EE Action Plan to define their strategy for doing so. The Action Plan forecasts how public power will achieve the savings goals through a variety of EE programs and other channels like market transformation and Momentum Savings as well as identifying the budget required to do so.
Following positive action by the Seattle City Council earlier this year, Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) has held a series of input meetings over the summer with a wide array of stakeholders including building owners and managers, industry representatives, and policy advocates. A final Director's Rule should be published soon which details the specifics for both what and how building energy performance is made publicly available. It's anticipated that public disclosure will begin sometime this fall, but no later than early December.
Seattle has adopted one of the country's most innovative add-on features to energy benchmarking and disclosure - a periodic building tune up policy (click here for more background on the policy). Over the summer, Seattle OSE has hosted a series of both technical working group and public forums to discuss potential features of the required tune up.
Following an earlier ECONorthwest study released in late 2014, NEEC announces the availability of newly updated results on the macroeconomic benefits of energy efficiency investments in the states of Washington and Oregon. Respected economics consulting firm ECONorthwest used two sophisticated economic models to quantify both the short term and longer term impacts of energy efficiency investments in these two Northwest states. The analysis concludes that net job creation effects are 3,800 and 2,400 for Washington and Oregon respectively.
The BPA Integrated Program Review (IPR) for 2016 is underway. From BPA’s web site description of the IPR; “The combined Integrated Program Review (IPR) and Capital Investment Review (CIR) process allows interested parties to see all relevant FCRPS expense and capital spending level estimates in the same forum. The IPR/CIR occurs every two years, or just prior to each rate case, and provides participants with an opportunity to review and comment on BPA's capital and expense program level estimates prior to spending levels being set for inclusion in rate cases.