NEEC News Blog

The Oregon Legislature stuck with its 30 day session calendar and pounded their gavel sine die but not before they passed rather sweeping energy legislation designed to eliminate “coal by wire” through an increase in the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 50% by the year 2040. It didn’t appear to be easy. FOIA requests from The Oregonian for email communications from commissioners and staff at the OPUC uncovered significant skepticism about the idea focusing on...

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The following is a description by Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment.

Earlier this month, City Council passed building energy legislation that propels Seattle into an elite group of cities with progressive policies aimed at driving energy efficiencies and reducing climate impacts. At the direction of Mayor Murray, OSE developed the new policies to keep Seattle on track to meet Seattle’s GHG emissions reduction goal in the building sector, as outlined in...

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The Oregonian reported a few days ago that the lead regulator at the Oregon Public Utility Commission resigned and will be leaving the OPUC in May. No specific reasons were provided. The newspaper speculated on a possible connection with Ackerman’s concerns about the recent energy legislation that increased Oregon’s RPS to 50% but nothing was officially confirmed. Presumably, Gov. Kate Brown will shortly make an appointment to replace Ackerman on the Commission.

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NEEC is pleased to announce our training series for the 2015 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC), which goes into effect on July 1st, 2016. Experts from the industry will cover key changes between the 2012 and 2015 WSEC for new construction and retrofits. Presentations will include various examples of how common provisions apply to a sample project, compliance options for envelope, mechanical and lighting systems, and how to document compliance. Locations, dates and registration links:...

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Before a packed Northwest Power Council meeting room on February 18th, BPA presented a reasonably detailed description (modus operandi) of the newly minted firm energy resource known as momentum savings. Ably presented by BPA and Power Council staff (with an prelude of his own Short History of Time by Tom Eckman, soon to be retired Director of the Power Division of the Council), momentum savings was quantified by BPA as a resource that will contribute 30% of the regional savings identified...

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Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) has proposed two amendments to its energy disclosure ordinance. The first amendment provides for full public transparency of the benchmark results. Heretofore, this information was available on request during certain market transactions, but will under this amendment become fully public to all on an annual basis. This move, if adopted, would have Seattle join about dozen other major cities across the United States in providing...

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NEEC’s priority Washington legislation, HB 2846, has died for this biennial session. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, would have revised the state’s energy benchmark and disclosure requirements and put enforcement features in it. The bill seemingly had unanimous support in the House Democratic caucus, but objections by the Association of Washington Business seem to have derailed the bill’s progress. NEEC appreciates the efforts of Rep. Fitzgibbon to create a stronger energy...

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In contrast to Washington State’s inability to put in place a functioning energy benchmark and disclosure process, the City of Portland’s new benchmark requirements seem to be humming along smoothly. The first group of covered buildings (those over 50,000 square feet) must report by April 22nd of this year for 2015 performance. The City has a functioning Help Desk to help resolve problems and answer questions and along with PGE, Pacific Power, and NW Natural, hosting a series of workshops...

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The Pamplin School of Business is sharing their new UP Westside location in Bethany Village at no cost. They welcome you to use this space for off-site learning experiences, professional meetings, or retreats. This is a smart classroom that seats up to 32 comfortably. If you are seeking a location with great access to Beaverton, Hillsboro or Washington County this is an excellent option with several amenities. They are truly grateful for the awareness of our new location that comes from...

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The Washington State Legislature began its 60 day session this month. Public school funding challenges continue to dominate the landscape in the state, but a number of energy related bills will be considered as well. A priority bill for NEEC is HB 1278. This bill, first introduced by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon last year, would establish an enforcement mechanism for the current state requirement to benchmark energy use in commercial buildings. The bill would add a feature that requires owners to...

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