In a recent regional dialogue, dubbed IRP 2, the Bonneville Power Administration, has proposed two potentially significant changes to the way it funds energy efficiency. First, BPA is proposing to expense conservation funding as opposed to capitalizing those expenditures. This would, according to BPA, relieve some of the borrowing pressure facing the agency. In addition, BPA suggests that its retail customer utilities contribute a greater share of conservation spending directly from their own budgets. This latter issue was front and center throughout a recent long dialogue process called the Post 2011 Review. In that process, the decision was made to provide local utilities options for investing in energy efficiency directly and not suffering an "interest rate penalty" by relying on BPA funds. Seemingly, this outcome was not enough for BPA and IRP 2 is suggesting these additional steps. Conservation activists have responded negatively to these ideas noting especially the rather poor historic track record for utilities in meeting spending targets.
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