BPA Accelerates EE Fundingby Staff
BPA Journal, July 2011
Northwest public utilities saved more energy last year than ever before, freeing up enough electricity to power 65,700 more homes by not using it in the first place.
BPA is building on that success by dedicating $35 million this year to public utility energy efficiency programs that was originally scheduled to be delivered in the coming years.
The funding will flow to BPA's partner utilities for energy efficient projects and technologies that range from retrofitting neighborhood grocery store shelves with power- saving LED lighting to upgrading old and inefficient irrigation pumps. Energy efficiency is the cleanest and most affordable source of new electricity, which also saves power customers money. Last year's record achievement reduced Northwest power bills by more than $57 million. More rapidly funding these efforts now will be less expensive than it would be in the future, which will produce savings for BPA and its customers.
Last year's savings of nearly 90 average megawatts was the most ever by BPA's utility customers, beating BPA's goal for the year of 80 aMW at less cost than expected.
It came as the Northwest already leads the nation in energy efficiency, supplying 12 percent of its electricity needs in 2009 through energy savings compared to just 1 percent for the United States overall. This year, the accelerated funding will assist BPA's utility customers to exceed the agency's current 99-aMW target.
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