BPA Details Megawatt Savingsby CBB Staff
The Bonneville Power Administration this week released an updated assessment of energy conservation it has funded in the Northwest. The analysis shows additional savings of 57 average megawatts in 2003, bringing the adjusted total to 805 average megawatts since BPA's efforts began in 1982.
"In addition to the direct acquisition of conservation, BPA has promoted the adoption of more energy-efficient building codes (residential and commercial) in Washington and Oregon, and has supported the adoption of residential and commercial Model Conservation Standards," BPA reported in "The Red Book," an annual report of conservation data.
Each year BPA works with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to set targets for acquiring energy savings. The agency's customer utilities receive a credit on their wholesale power bills for investments that reduce consumption. BPA also promotes consumer lifestyle products and standards such as lighting and appliance efficiency.
"Conservation is still a bargain - well under current market prices of between $35 and $40 per megawatt hour if BPA had to go out and buy the energy to meet its customers' needs," said Mike Weedall, BPA's vice president for energy efficiency. "And this doesn't take into account the environmental benefits."
Conservation avoids the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity. The services required to deliver it also promote local employment.
Megawatts of savings are expressed in savings during the first year the program is in place. Many measures, such as improvements in home weatherization and commercial lighting, remain in effect for many years. BPA periodically adjusts the regional total to reflect changes in conditions.
For example, this year BPA adjusted savings from aluminum plant efficiency measures to zero because depressed market conditions have caused Northwest plants to close or curtail production. Savings from more stringent residential energy codes will not be counted from 2003 forward because it is likely that codes would have reached current standards by now.
The savings include energy that would have been expended had the codes not been adopted. In 2004, BPA has set an objective of acquiring 40 average megawatts of efficiency (without codes and standards).
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