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30 Years of Efficiency in the Pacific Northwest

The Northwest Power Conservation Council’s 2010 report, Energy Efficiency: 30 Years of Smart Energy Choices, details the history of energy use, efficiency achievements and conservation initiatives in the Pacific Northwest.

by Northwest Power Conservation Council

NWCC_2010.pdf — PDF document, 601 kB (616093 bytes)

The Northwest Power Conservation Council’s 2010 report, Energy Efficiency: 30 Years of Smart Energy Choices, details the history of energy use, efficiency achievements and conservation initiatives in the Pacific Northwest.

Significantly, “[a]pproximately 50 percent of the growth in demand for electricity in the region since 1980 has been met through energy efficiency,” which means the region avoided costs to construct and operate new generating sources to supply more than 3,900 average megawatts (34.2 million annual megawatt-hours). The Council calculated the average cost of investment in efficiency, or “negawatts” has been “a little over two cents per kilowatt-hour, well below the cost of power from any generating alternative.”  Economic and environmental benefits of these negawatts included consumers savings, compared to the cost of electricity from the wholesale market, of nearly $1.8 billion, and 15 million tons of C02 avoided in 2008 alone.

Beginning with the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980, this report details policies and achievements of regional energy development and efficiency investments. Looking forward, the Council has already identified more opportunities for efficiency savings as well as key lessons learned.  The report concludes that more support of energy-use efficiency and research, development and demonstration (RD&D) will continue to be essential.

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