On March 1st, BPA published an update to its 2010-2014 Energy Efficiency Action Plan. The document was developed to detail how BPA intended to meet its share of the energy efficiency targets in the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s 6th Power Plan. As described here in previous newsletters, BPA experienced extraordinary participation in its conservation offerings (those offered by its retail utility customers and through BPA’s regional third party programs) in federal fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011). As a result of the "overspend" in its budgets, BPA previously announced its decision to reduce planned spending for conservation in FY2013 and FY2013 by 32% and 36% respectively. These levels of budget reduction called into question how BPA intended to fulfill its obligation under the 6th Power Plan. The recently released Action Plan update describes how BPA will spend less and get more.
The most surprising element in the update is BPA’s decision to count energy efficiency acquired during FY2010 in excess of planned targets toward its 6th Power Plan goal. To quote the Plan,
"Several changes since the development of the 2010 EE Action Plan have resulted in updates to the expected savings, costs and source of acquisition for Energy Efficiency. The achievement of more savings in 2010 [italics added]and 2011 than anticipated, along with lower than expected acquisition costs, has resulted in reduced savings needed to be achieved to meet the 5-year Council target in 2012-2014."
Hmm. As 2010 conservation savings were reportedly taken into consideration in the conservation potential assessment for the 6th Plan, this "carry forward" procedure seems on the face of it to violate the age old principle of only being able to spend a dollar once. If only my much admired Indiana Hoosiers could carry forward some points from their first game against the University of Kentucky into their March Madness rematch, they might now be playing in the Final Four. Alas, the rules and common sense just don’t allow it.