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BPA, public power beat 2013 conservation targets
2/27/2014 12:00 AM
Since 1980, BPA and Northwest utilities have cumulatively acquired over 5 average gigawatts of power through energy efficiency activities. For context, that’s enough energy savings to power the city of Seattle more than four times over for an entire year or about $3.18 billion in reduced electric bills for the people of the Northwest.
BPA’s Energy Efficiency team, working in collaboration with its public power utility customers, saved nearly 60 average megawatts of energy in fiscal year 2013. That translates to enough energy to power over 43,000 Northwest homes for an entire year and more than $37 million in electric bill savings for Northwest ratepayers. The 60 aMW exceeded the agency’s FY 2013 energy savings target of 56 aMW.
BPA and Northwest publicly owned utilities administer programs that pursue cost-effective energy savings in all sectors of the economy in support of the region’s energy conservation goals set by the
Northwest Power and Conservation Council
. The current target of 504 aMW of energy savings by the end of 2014 – nearly double that of the previous plan – was once viewed as extremely aggressive, so much so that some thought it might be unattainable.
“The extraordinary efforts of our customers and BPA staff made this year a success,” says Richard Génecé, vice president of Energy Efficiency. “The energy savings we’ve tallied the last few years puts this goal within reach.”
From start to finish, saving energy is the culmination of a tremendous number of collaborative and individual efforts by BPA and utility staff. From a BPA standpoint, it requires identifying and researching new energy-saving technologies for the Northwest market, designing effective programs for electric utilities to implement, rigorous planning to ensure reliable savings, customer support from BPA engineers and Energy Efficiency representatives, support from BPA contracting staff, and support and collaboration from BPA’s power business line and others throughout the agency.
Most importantly, it requires the day-to-day implementations throughout BPA’s utility customers’ territories that range from small upgrades that benefit individual homeowners to huge process improvements at industrial organizations. On the small end of the scale, people like John Hesch, a customer of Mason County PUD No. 3 in Shelton, Wash., who
installed a ductless heat pump, are seeing substantial savings on their heating bills
. Justin Holzgrove, conservation manager for the utility, says more of its ratepayers are going ductless. “We’ve continued to spread the word that ductless heat pumps are a great way to heat your home and save money on your bill.”
At the large end of the scale are companies like Fitesa Washougal, a non-woven hygiene fabrics plant that stands to save more than $835,000 in annual energy expenses through
efficiency upgrades and energy management
supported by Clark Public Utilities and BPA. Advancing energy efficiency is a simple equation for the Vancouver, Wash.-based utility.
“It costs us less to use energy more efficiently than to build more capacity,” says Sam Walker, energy engineer for Clark PUD.
Added up, these achievements provide an enormous tangible power resource for the people of the Northwest. Since 1980, BPA and Northwest utilities have cumulatively acquired over 5 average gigawatts of power through energy efficiency activities. For context, that’s enough energy savings to power the city of Seattle more than four times over for an entire year or about $3.18 billion in reduced electric bills for the people of the Northwest. The nearly 60 aMW achieved in 2013 builds on the Northwest legacy of using efficiency as a clean, inexpensive power resource. “For more than 30 years, we have collectively created the second-largest power resource in the Northwest by saving energy, one kilowatt at a time,” Génecé adds.
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