Avista Commits to Efficiency
- Oct 8, 2021 2:55 pm GMT
Last week, Avista Utilities became the first Washington utility to submit its clean energy implementation plan to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. The plan is required by the state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), which was signed into law in 2019 and aims to have all utilities greenhouse gas neutral by 2030 and 100% renewable or generated from zero-carbon resources by 2045.
Avista’s plan lays out the utility’s course of action between now and 2025. As you’d expect, Avista intends to retire coal fired plants and replace them with renewable generation. However, the utility also emphasizes energy efficiency in their blueprint:
“The plan sets energy efficiency targets to reduce customer load by approximately 2% over the next four years by savings 204,305 megawatt hours through incentives and programs to lower energy use without impacting the customer.”
“Avista’s demand response target is to lower peak demand by 30 megawatts in period of extreme heat or cold as an effort to eliminate the need for future resources.”
Personally, I’m relieved to see Avista’s attention to energy conservation. After The Northwest Power and Conservation Council seemed to step away from energy efficiency in its 2021 Northwest Power Plan, I worried utilities in the region would follow suit. Although Washington has special hydro resources, they still have a ways to go to become carbon neutral. New solar projects this decade will help greatly, but still won’t be enough. Hydro, solar, a better energy trading market, and energy efficiency are all essential pieces to this puzzle.
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