Homegrown: An energy plan that puts Oregon first
By John Morris, Fluid Market Strategies with Phil Welker, PECI
John Morris is Director of Client Services and Business Development at Fluid Market Strategies, an Oregon company that provides management services across many energy efficiency sectors. He co-wrote this post with Phil Welker, executive director at PECI, a Portland nonprofit that provides a range of energy services including program design and workforce training. Morris and Welker are on the board of directors for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council.
Homegrown. Oregon-produced fruits and vegetables are unparalleled in quality, and they're part of the foundation of the Oregon economy. It's that same “grown in Oregon” value that is expressed in Gov. John Kitzhaber’s 10-Year Energy Action Plan recently published in draft for public comment.
From the Governor’s opening line of the plan’s introductory letter — “Energy is THE issue of our time…” — this plan takes a commonsense approach to charting the state’s energy future and its impact on Oregon’s economy, environment, and quality of life.
The plan builds on three core strategies.
The first is energy efficiency. What could make more sense? Oregon already boasts an impressive record of accomplishment in energy efficiency, ranking third nationally in one independent assessment of the states. The Governor’s plan doesn’t rest on these accomplishments. In fact, it pushes the state to do more of good thing, achieving 100 percent of new electric load growth through energy efficiency.
Is this realistic? Most certainly, through the continued good work of Energy Trust of Oregon, consumer-owned utilities, and the innovation of several Oregon companies working to make Oregon homes, businesses, and industries more efficient and more competitive in a global economy.
Does it make sense? More than ever. Oregon’s previous energy efficiency success has saved us millions on our energy bills and put those dollars into the local economy. A great deal of our energy infrastructure now needs to be modernized, along with much of the non-energy infrastructure in the state. It would be the height of folly to make needed modernization investments without taking advantage of the increased efficiency they can yield. We have laid a strong foundation with efficiency, and we should build our future upon it.
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