Charter of the Regional Technical Forum of the
Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council
also see Policy Advisory Committee charter
Official Designation: This advisory committee will be known as the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council's Regional Technical Forum.
1. Background: In 1995, the Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville) began to shift responsibility for financing and acquiring conservation savings over to its utility customers. This shift in responsibility was intended to reduce Bonneville's costs and permit utilities to better tailor their programs to local situations. Congress recognized that one implication of this shift would likely be a more diversified approach to conservation acquisition across the region. Consequently, in 1996 it directed Bonneville and the Northwest Power Planning Council (Council) to convene a Regional Technical Forum (RTF) to develop standardized protocols for verifying and evaluating conservation savings. This is necessary because the historical program costs and savings may not be applicable to radically redesigned conservation programs. Congress further recommended that the RTF's membership include individuals with technical expertise in conservation program planning, implementation, and evaluation and that its services be made available to all utilities in the Northwest.
The Comprehensive Review of the Northwest Energy System (Comprehensive Review) supported the Congressional directives and recommended that the RTF should, in addition, track conservation and renewable resource goals and provide feedback and suggestions for improving the effectiveness of conservation and renewable resource development programs in the region. The Comprehensive Review also recommended that the RTF conduct periodic reviews of the region's progress toward meeting its conservation and renewable resource goals at least every five years and communicate recommended changes to appropriate decision-makers. These periodic reviews are to acknowledge changes in the market and adjust target appropriately.
The Comprehensive Review's recommendations were based on its perception that the region needed to track conservation activities and renewable resource development systematically to assess whether public purpose goals are being achieved. The Comprehensive Review also stated that the uniform standards for verification and evaluation will become increasingly important as consumers gain access to energy service markets where utilities and new market entrants can expect to compete for "public purpose" funds to meet consumer demands for energy services.
In February of 1999 the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration requested that the Council also charge the RTF with providing specific recommendations to the agency to assist it in the implementation of a conservation and renewable resource rate discount. These recommendations are to include a list of measures that would qualify for the rate discount and evaluation protocols that could be used to establish the savings associated with more complex or unique efficiency improvements and the output of certain distributed or direct-application renewable resources.
The Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act, P.L. 96-501, 16 U.S.C. §839 et seq. in Section 4 authorizes the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council to " . . . establish such other voluntary advisory committees as it determines are necessary or appropriate to assist it in carrying out its functions and responsibilities . . ." . At its April 1999 meeting the Council voted to form the RTF to facilitate the development of the conservation and renewable resources identified in the Council's Plan and to assist the Bonneville Power Administration in implementing a Conservation and Renewable Resources Rate Discount. Specifically, the four goals adopted by the Council for the RTF corresponding to its original charge from Congress and the Comprehensive Review are to:
- Develop standardized protocols for verification and evaluation of energy savings and the performance of renewable resources.
- Track regional progress toward the achievement of the region's conservation and renewable resource goals.
- Provide feedback and suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the conservation and renewable resource development programs and activities in the region.
- Conduct periodic reviews of the region's progress toward meeting its conservation and renewable resource goals at least every 5 years, acknowledging changes in the market for energy services and the potential availability of cost-effective conservation opportunities.
- A list of eligible conservation measures and programs, the estimated savings associated with those measures and programs, and the estimated regional power system value associated with those savings.
- A process for updating the list as technology and standard practices change and an appeals process through which customers can demonstrate that different savings and value estimates should apply.
- A set of protocols by which the savings and system value of measures/programs not on the list could be estimated. These would include complex commercial or industrial projects.
- Criteria for eligible renewable resource projects.
- Recommended protocols for measurement and evaluation of savings or production.
The RTF would analyze the reporting information submitted by customers to Bonneville to claim their discounts in order to track the kinds of conservation being implemented, the costs and electricity savings achieved and the quantities and types of renewable resource research, demonstration or production achieved with the discount. The purpose would be to provide a regional level assessment of the effectiveness of the conservation and renewable resource discount (C&RD). The RTF would also have the ability to carry out, through staff or contractors, a limited number of targeted evaluations. These evaluations are intended to improve understanding of the cost and performance of technologies or applications that prove to be popular and with which there is relatively little experience.
2. Authority: This advisory committee is established as part of a network of advisory committees satisfying the Council's obligation under the Act to establish a Scientific and Statistical Advisory Committee. (Section 4(c)(11)). Under Section 4(a)(4) of the Act, the terms of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. Appendix I, Sections 1-14, apply "to the extent appropriate" to the Council's advisory committees.
3. Objectives and Scope of Activity: The Regional Technical Forum will advise the Council during the implementation and future updates of its Plan by:
- Assisting the Council in assessing: 1) the current performance, cost and availability of new conservation and renewable resources; 2) technology development trends; and 3) the effect of these trends on the future performance, cost and availability of new conservation resources.
- Assisting the Council in evaluating planning assumptions regarding the performance, cost and availability of conservation resources.
- Assisting the Council develop standardized protocols for verification and evaluation of energy savings and renewable resource development.
- Assisting the Council track regional progress toward the achievement of the region's conservation and renewable resource goals.
- Assisting the Council provide feedback and suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the conservation and renewable resource development programs and activities in the region.
- Assisting the Council conduct periodic reviews of the region's progress toward meeting its conservation and renewable resource goals at least every 5 years, acknowledging changes in the market for energy services and the potential availability of cost-effective conservation opportunities.
- Assisting the Council in identifying technical, cost, environmental, institutional and other barriers to the development of new conservation and renewable resources.
- Assisting the Council in developing policies and actions to resolve barriers to the development of new conservation and renewable resources.
- Assist the Bonneville Power Administration in the implementation of the Conservation and Renewable Resources Rate discount by performing the following tasks:
- Prepare a comprehensive list of recommended qualifying conservation and renewable resources research, development and demonstration measures by no later than September 1, 2000. Measures on the recommended conservation list should have three components: (a) the Definition of the Measure; (b) the Definition of the Electricity Savings; and (c) the Definition of the Value to the Region (from an electric system standpoint).
- Develop recommended protocols for identifying the energy savings and value of conservation in unique facilities and situations (e.g., large commercial/industrial sites).
- Establish a process for resolving differences between sponsors' estimated savings and the "deemed" amount for measures on the list.
- Establish a procedure and schedule for updating the C&RD eligible measure list.
- Establish a procedure for tracking and reporting results of the C&RD per dollar allocation of spending, at a regional level. Information about the allocation of spending among conservation, renewable resources and low-income weatherization as outlined by the Comprehensive review in Table 1 of their Dec. 12, 1996 report should be included in this report.
- Develop a list of pre-approved renewable resource research, development and demonstration (RD&D) activities.
- Develop quality control criteria for direct application renewable resources and distributed resources that will be credited based on a "deemed" amount of output.
- Develop evaluation criteria for renewable RD&D proposals and play an ongoing role in determining whether or not a proposed activity is eligible on a case-by-case basis.
- Develop criteria for determining what constitutes a "new" facility, as opposed to an expansion of or addition to an existing facility.
- When requested by BPA, assist in evaluating renewable resource proposals for which eligibility may be unclear.
Attachment A, "RTF Work Products Needed to Facilitate BPA's Conservation & Renewables Discount" (2/22/99) contains the Bonneville Administrator's specific request for assistance from the RTF.
4. Official to Whom the Advisory Committee Reports: The Regional Technical Forum will report to the Executive Director of the Council.
5. Authority of the Advisory Committee: The Regional Technical Forum will serve in an advisory capacity only. Neither the Regional Technical Forum nor members who are not also members of the Council staff are authorized to make statements or commitments on behalf of the Council.
6. Estimated Annual Operating Costs in Dollars and Staff Time: $15,000, for travel reimbursement and the equivalent of 3 full time staff (FTE), including up to 1 contract FTE, to provide analytical support, organize and attend 12 full committee meetings and twelve subcommittee meetings. In addition, it is anticipated that staff from the Bonneville Power Administration will also be called upon to support the development of conservation and renewable resource work products in support of the Conservation and Renewables Rate discount.
7. Appointment of Advisory Committee Members and Staff: The Council Chairperson, in consultation with the Chair of the Power Committee and Director of the Power Division, will appoint the RTF's members. Appointments will be made from a list of nominations provided by the Bonneville Power Administration, the region's utilities, the state energy offices, energy efficiency professionals, renewable resource developers, public interest groups, customers and other experts from within and outside the region. The state utility regulatory commissions from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington shall be offered the opportunity to serve as Ex Officio members of the RTF or to participate as voting members of RTF at their discretion.
In addition to the voting members of the RTF, the Director of the Power Division, in consultation with the Chair of the Power Committee may appoint Corresponding members of the Forum. Corresponding members will be provided with all RTF working papers, meeting agendas and minutes and may be asked to serve on RTF subcommittees and/or provide comments on matters before the RTF.
The Director of the Council's Power Division will designate members of the Council's staff to attend meetings of the RTF and serve as staff to the RTF.
- The Chairperson of the RTF will be Tom Eckman, the Council's Manager of Conservation Resources.
- The Chairperson may be called upon to report to the Executive Director of the Council on appropriate matters, including the Advisory Committee's progress on the tasks described in Part 3 of this Charter.
- The duties of the Chairperson will include presiding over RTF meetings, ensuring that detailed minutes of such meetings are prepared and submitted to the Executive Director of the Council in a timely manner, and maintaining communication between the Regional Technical Forum and the Council's staff.
- The Chairperson will certify detailed minutes of meetings of the RTF. The minutes should include a complete and accurate description on matters discussed, conclusions reached, actions taken, persons invited to meet with the RTF, and persons in attendance. The minutes also will include copies of reports received, issued or approved by the RTF. Minutes of meetings will be prepared and released within ten days of the meeting, unless the Management Officer grants an extension. The Chairperson will distribute copies of the minutes to members of the RTF and the other interested persons.
- The Chairperson of the RTF to undertake particular aspects of the RTF's work may establish subcommittees of the RTF. Methods for organizing the work and procedures of the Forum must follow the scope of responsibilities assigned to the RTF by the Council. Council staff for the Regional Technical Forum will make logistical arrangements for Forum meetings and provide general support services, including maintenance of an Internet web page dedicated to RTF activities and public involvement.
- The Vice-Chairperson of the Regional Technical Forum will be Jeff King, the Council's Senior Generating Resource Analyst.
- The Vice-Chairperson will perform the duties of the Chairperson of the Regional Technical Forum, in the absence of that Chairperson and such other duties as the Chairperson of the Forum may assign.
11. Estimated Frequency of Committee Meetings: The Chairperson of the Regional Technical Forum, after consultation with the Director of the Power Planning Division, or his designee, will call meetings as necessary. It is estimated that Regional Technical Forum meetings will occur at approximately monthly intervals. In addition, approximately six to twelve subcommittee meetings may be held annually. All meetings will be open to the public, unless closed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §552b(c). Timely notice of meetings, including agendas, will be made. Interested persons may attend Regional Technical Forum meetings and appear before or file statements with the Forum, subject to such reasonable rules as the Council may prescribe.
12. Reimbursement of Expenses: The Council will reimburse public members of the Regional Technical Forum for travel for the purpose of attending Forum meetings, in accordance with the Council's travel regulations for advisory committees, as authorized by 5 U.S.C. §5703. The Executive Director shall determine who are public members.
13. Duration: The Regional Technical Forum will serve as a standing advisory committee to the Council, unless terminated in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. All Members of the Regional Technical Forum serve at the pleasure of the Council.
This Charter for the Regional Technical Forum was approved and adopted
at a duly noticed meeting of the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and
Conservation Planning Council, June 30, 1999 in Astoria, Oregon.
Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council
By Todd Maddock, Chairman
RTF work products needed to facilitate BPA's Conservation & Renewables Discount
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is responsible for developing a list of measures that will qualify for the conservation and renewables discount (C&RD) and the level of credit available for any given measure on the list. BPA is requesting that the Northwest Power Planning Council's (Council) proposed Regional Technical Forum (RTF) Advisory Committee identify and recommend a list of qualifying measures that BPA can consider for use in the C&RD program. With respect to the C&RD program, BPA views the work of the RTF to be advisory and technical in nature. BPA may approve or modify the list and establish the amount of the discount available for each measure on the approved list through a separate process after the RTF submits the list of recommended measures to BPA. In another independent process, BPA will address the credit available for the activities and costs associated with running the C&RD program (i.e., administrative, advertising, evaluation, R&D, etc.) that do not directly result in electricity savings or production.
- The RTF should prepare an comprehensive list of recommended qualifying conservation and renewables RD&D measures by no later than September 1, 2000. In establishing the list, the RTF should include, but not be limited to, consideration of the following types of activities:
- the full range of conservation measures and demand-side energy efficiency activities for which "deemed" savings can be determined;
- appropriate program standards and guidelines;
- renewable resource RD&D options;
- quality control criteria for the direct application renewables and distributed resources, with consideration of criteria that have been developed by states and others;
- efficiencies in utility transmission and distribution systems;
- Federal and state-mandated public purpose utility activities and programs;
- alternatives for contributing funds to energy efficiency and renewables-related organizations and activities (i.e., as the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), local low-income weatherization programs, etc.); and
- "reductions in electric power consumption as a result of increases in the efficiency of energy production" (see Sec. 3.(3), 1980 Power Act).
- "Reductions" in electric power consumption as a result of increases in the efficiency of energy consumption (operational adjustments, maintenance procedure changes, behavioral modifications, training, etc.).
- Protocols for identifying the energy savings and value of conservation in unique facilities and situations (e.g., large commercial/industrial sites).
- A process for resolving differences between sponsors' estimated savings and the "deemed" amount for measures on the list.
- Measures on the RTF recommended conservation list should have three components: (a) the Definition of the Measure; (b) the Definition of the Electricity Savings; and (c) the Definition of the Value to the Region (from an electric system standpoint).
- The RTF should develop the C&RD conservation list in a very collaborative manner with ample opportunities for BPA's customers and other interested parties to participate in the process.
- The RTF should establish a procedure and schedule for updating the C&RD list.
- The RTF should establish a procedure for tracking and reporting C&RD results per dollar allocation of spending, at a regional level. Information about the allocation of spending among conservation, renewables and low-income weatherization as outlined by the Comprehensive review in Table 1 of their Dec. 12, 1996 report should be included.
- For the list of "standard" qualifying measures, where possible, the RTF should include two or more different levels of quality assurance as part of the measure description. These quality assurance definitions should be based on existing information and historical experience. In addition, the RTF should define a protocol for customers who want to pursue measures where no quality assurance definition is provided. The higher confidence in measures with good quality assurance should be reflected in the value of the savings for that measure.
- The RTF should define the "baseline" from which savings will be identified for measures or measure categories on the list. These baselines should reflect what is standard practice absent customer efforts. This should include protocols for establishing "baselines" for non-standard measures. Also, the RFT should identify parameters for when the "baseline" will change.
- Fuel switching and load building activities should not be included on the list of qualifying measures.
- The value of the savings should reflect the higher confidence and precision resulting from the more defensible predictions of energy savings and the greater likelihood of effective installations corresponding to the level of quality assurance undertaken. Estimates of savings should take into consideration climatic information and should describe the seasonal and daily shape of the savings where appropriate.
- The RTF should look at modifications in the established baseline for measures on the list, especially if there are adjustments in relevant Federal standards or State energy codes. These changes should be reflected in the approved list of qualifying measures (measure by measure) on a real-time basis, rather than waiting for a wholesale update of the entire list.
- For determining the value of the measures on the list, the RTF should use the life of the measure.
- The shape of the savings (daily and seasonally) should be considered in order to value both capacity and energy, when it is reasonably feasible to do so.
- The RTF should advise BPA on which procedure they used for determining avoided costs to the system for establishing the savings value for measures on the list.
- In determining value to the system, the RTF should take into consideration, where feasible, the relationship to load centers/distribution/transmission benefits, etc.
- Electricity savings and total energy savings (when appropriate) should be taken into consideration when establishing the value of measures on the list.
With respect to renewables, the RTF should:
- Develop a list of pre-approved RD&D activities.
- Develop quality control criteria for direct application renewables and distributed resources that will be credited based on a "deemed" amount of output. (The RTF should consider applicable existing criteria when establishing criteria for direct application and distributed resources.)
- Develop evaluation criteria for RD&D proposals and play an ongoing role in determining whether or not a proposed activity is RD&D on a case-by-case basis.
- Develop criteria for determining what constitutes a "new" facility, as opposed to an expansion or addition.
- When requested by BPA, assist in evaluating proposals for which eligibility may be unclear. (For example, the RTF may be asked to help determine the eligibility of a facility that is located outside the region but also displaces regional resources.)