Regional News Briefs
The New Mother Lode Just Released
SWEEP released its major study, "The New Mother Lode: The Potential for More Efficient Electricity Use in the Southwest." Conducted by a team led by SWEEP director Howard Geller, the study outlines the potential for energy efficiency gains in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
The study analyzes electricity use in a "business-as-usual" Base Scenario and a High Efficiency Scenario that gradually increases the efficiency of electricity use in homes and work places. Major benefits of the High Efficiency Scenario include reductions in total electricity consumption; reductions in average annual load growth; elimination of the need to construct some new power plants; monetary savings to consumers and businesses; water savings; and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and other environmental benefits.
The study was released during the weeks of November 11 and November 18 at press and public briefings in Denver, CO; Salt Lake City, UT; Phoenix, AZ; Albuquerque, NM; and Las Vegas, NV. Press coverage was very positive, and the study has sparked interest in energy efficiency initiatives in a number of states.
Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
The Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a greatly expanded package of energy efficiency and load management programs to be implemented in southern Nevada by the Nevada Power Company, and in northern Nevada by the Sierra Pacific Power Company, beginning in 2003. The total 2003 budget for these programs will be $11.2 million. The programs include financial incentives, technical assistance, and promotion to help households and small businesses obtain more energy-efficient technologies and reduce their electricity consumption. The package is a result of a collaborative demand-side management (DSM) program development and analysis effort, proposed by and in which SWEEP played a prominent role.
Fort Collins Utilities
Fort Collins Utilities, the municipal utility in the city of Ft. Collins, CO, has approved a new electricity supply policy that includes the goals of reducing per capita electricity consumption by ten percent by 2012, and peak load per capita electricity consumption by fifteen percent by 2012. If approved by the Fort Collins City Council, the policy would lead to a major expansion of energy efficiency and load management programs in this fast-growing municipality of 120,000. SWEEP has been advising the city as it develops its goals and new energy efficiency programs.