In its charter the RTF is tasked with annually surveying the region’s utilities, Bonneville Power Administration, NEEA, and system benefit charge administrators like Energy Trust of Oregon on their efficiency achievements. The RTF supports the compiling of the data into a Regional Conservation Progress (RCP) report, and staff present it to the Council to offer a full picture of the region’s progress against the power plan’s efficiency goals. 2020 is part of the Seventh Plan period which will continue through 2021 once the 2021 Power plan begins. The conservation goals in the Seventh Power Plan are below:
|Annual Energy (aMW)||370||460||570|
|Cumulative Energy (aMW)||370||830||1400|
Expand the ⊕ navigation above for other years' reports.
Cumulative Conservation Achievements and the 7th Plan
As a region, over the last five years, the Northwest has saved 1039 aMW of energy as a result of energy measures. This total represents utility program savings, NEEA reported savings, momentum savings, and savings from codes and standards with an adjustment for double and under counting. The chart to the right illustrates how these regional savings compare to the five-year conservation goal of 1115 aMW set by the Seventh Power Plan. Below that is a break out of annual efficiency achievements as compared to annual Seventh Plan milestones.
2019 was the first year the region was not on track with an annual milestone, although overachievement in prior years made up the difference. 2020, however, is the first year where the region fell behind the cumulative milestones. While Plan milestones have increased across the action plan period, regional savings have remained flat to declining. In order to meet the Seventh Plan's action plan goal of 1400 aMW, the region will need to achieve significant efficiency in 2021.
Covid-19 and the ongoing global pandemic played a role in this year's conservation achievements. Restrictions, safety concerns, and supply chain issues put additional strain on utility EE programs and negatively impacted their ability to achieve savings. Some programs increased incentives for certain measures as a way of working towards savings goals. The pandemic, however, doesn't appear to be the sole driver of lagging savings. Even if conservation in 2020 had looked more like 2018 (the best year to date in this 7th Plan period), the region would still be behind the current milestone goal.
Program Savings and Expenditures
As made apparent in the chart below, the region has been seeing declining program savings, in proportion with flat or declining expenditures. This trend became more stark in 2020 with the dip in savings, but it's a direction we've been seeing and reporting for the past few years and anticipate to continue based on forecasted savings and budgets from regional utilities.
Codes & Standards
The chart to the left shows savings from new state codes and federal standards adopted since the development of the Seventh Plan potential. All these savings represent real efficiency for the region driven in large part by historic program activity and NEEAs initiatives driving upstream market change and historic program achievements. These savings are delivered over the long term and as a result are often underrepresented by the RCPs short-term, annual review of regional energy efficiency. However, they're a result of hard work and dedication on the part of numerous regional actors and have and will continue to play an essential role in the Northwest's energy efficiency achievements.
Regional Capacity Savings
Obtaining energy efficiency is getting more complex and expensive. Thanks to the region's strong commitment to developing conservation as a resource, many of the so-called low hanging fruit markets have been transformed and utilities are having to get more creative to continue to achieve efficiency savings. However, that's not to say that there is no longer a benefit to pursuing EE. As we see in the chart below, efficiency continues to contribute significant capacity savings to the region especially in the winter.
Historical Regional Savings
Energy Efficiency has provided over 7,200 aMW of savings since 1978. It has helped the region avoid more than 22.9 million metric tons of C02 emissions and has saved the equivalent of 5.3 million homes' annual energy consumption. You can see in the chart below, utility efficiency programs have been the key driver of energy savings in the region, with NEEA and their market transformation work emerging in recent years as a significant contributor of regional savings.