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NWEC honors BPA for building a cleaner energy future
5/31/2012 12:00 AM
NW Energy Coalition
has awarded BPA and Mike Weedall, recently retired vice president of Energy Efficiency, its Bob Olsen Memorial Conservation Eagle Award for their leadership in advancing a clean and affordable electric energy future in the Northwest.
NWEC executive director Sara Patton presented the award to Weedall and Karen Meadows, BPA's acting vice president of Energy Efficiency at a ceremony at BPA's headquarters in Portland, Ore., on May 23.
"Bonneville's commitment to energy conservation has helped energy efficiency become the resource of choice for the Northwest," Patton said.
BPA and Northwest publicly owned utilities partner to find the best ways to reduce electricity consumption across the region and help families and businesses save money on their power bill. In 2011, the achievement reached 117 average megawatts - the most energy savings in a single year since the Northwest Power Act passed in 1980. This is enough electricity to power 85,410 homes, reducing the need for new power plants. That helps keep our air clean.
Weedall was BPA's vice president of Energy Efficiency for a decade before retiring in January. During his tenure, BPA met or exceeded its conservation targets every year, helping Northwest publicly owned utilities increase their conservation savings from 29 aMW in 2001 to a record 117 aMW in 2011.
"Our energy efficiency staff is top notch, best in class. Their ingenuity, hard work and commitment have allowed Bonneville and Northwest utilities take energy efficiency to the next level," said Weedall.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council expects energy efficiency to meet 85 percent of the Northwest's increasing demand for electricity through 2030. Compared to building new power plants, which benefit a small area and a few companies, efficiency upgrades allow utilities to invest in the economy of their community.
"We're proud of the amount of savings BPA in partnership with our public utilities have helped the region achieve," Meadows said. "And we're motivated by, and committed to the challenge of finding the next technology or strategy that will allow us to go deeper and broader into new markets and to consumers that we have not reached in the past."
BPA funds a wide range of programs such as
Energy Smart Industrial
Simple Steps, Smart Savings
light bulb and showerhead replacement program, tribal low-income weatherization programs and regional energy efficiency infrastructure, including the Council-sponsored Regional Technical Forum and Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. BPA also invests in researching new,
to find the next great energy-saving equipment or measure.
The NWEC bestows the Bob Olsen Conservation Eagle, its highest annual award, to individuals and organizations that demonstrate leadership for a clean and affordable energy future. Previous winners include Emerald People's Utility District, Energy Trust of Oregon, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Montana Power Company, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Snohomish Public Utility District, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and former BPA Administrator Randall W. Hardy. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council, its staff and advisory committee members, along with the New Buildings Institute won the award last year.
BPA was also recognized for its recent energy conservation and environmental sustainability efforts earlier this year. In February, the Department of Energy awarded BPA an EStar award for the agency's environmental stewardship and the Association of Energy Services Professionals recognized BPA's Energy Smart Industrial program for tripling its industrial annual energy savings in 2011.
Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored two BPA energy efficiency initiatives at its Champions of Environmental Leadership and Green Government Awards event. BPA received the Environmental Leadership Award for its Energy Smart Federal Partnership, a program that reduced energy consumption at 21 federal agencies. The EPA also recognized the Grand Coulee Dam lighting retrofit project for delivering one additional megawatt of renewable energy to the region.
The NW Energy Coalition is an alliance of environmental, civic and human service organizations, progressive utilities and businesses in the Northwest and British Columbia that promote the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency, consumer protection, low-income energy assistance, and fish and wildlife restoration on the Columbia and Snake rivers.
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