Policy and Legislation

Oregon Legislature Kerfuffle

June 28, 2017

Just when you think all is quiet on the energy front in Salem, small tempests can brew in the Capital teapot. Such as it was a few weeks ago, when a large transportation investment bill emerged at the Oregon Legislature. It was a large bill and patient readers who made it to page 258 were surprised to see language that, in effect, diverted portions of Oregon’s public purpose charge dollars now committed to building energy efficiency to go toward infrastructure investments in electric vehicles. Cutting to the final chapter of this story – the idea has been scrapped.

Legislative Update

April 3, 2017

The Washington Legislature is over half way through its session and dueling budget proposals (and the taxes that fund them) are emerging from House and Senate. The center circle under the circus tent remains funding for public education. Expect a continued long slog on that issue – and its ripple effect on spending for other initiatives. Not much is left in the outer rings of consideration related to policies effecting energy efficiency.

Legislative Update

February 28, 2017

Both Washington and Oregon legislatures are in session now. Both states are grappling with big funding issues that dominate the political landscape.

Washington Legislative Update

January 31, 2017

Two weeks and counting and the current Washington Legislature is in the thick of committee hearings. While solving the K-12 education funding problem is front and center (and likely will be throughout the session), the usual slate of energy legislation has been introduced. NEEC is closely following a few those bills.

Power Council Issues RFP – A New Approach to Assessing Conservation?

December 28, 2016

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has squarely placed one of their big toes in the water regarding the region’s historical analytical approach to assessing conservation potential. The Council accepted responses until the middle of December from firms interested in helping them assess the following;

New Year, New Legislative Sessions in Washington and Oregon

December 28, 2016

The new year brings more political news than just the specter of the President Donald J. Trump administration, as both Washington and Oregon will convene new legislatures in tandem with two newly re-elected Governors. While Washington and Oregon begin their new biennial cycles, things look much like they did in 2016. In Oregon, Democrats control both chambers and the Governor’s office while Washington maintains the lone Republican stronghold in the Senate. In Washington, Gov.

Inslee Proposes Carbon Tax to Fund Education

December 28, 2016

On the heels of an unsuccessful statewide initiative to create a revenue neutral carbon tax, recently re-elected Governor Jay Inslee has proposed a carbon tax as a revenue source to fund the state’s court-mandated support of K-12 public education. The ambitious Inslee plan would generate $4.4B in new revenue through a combination of the carbon tax, a capital gains tax, and closing a set of current tax exemptions.

BPA Releases Draft EE Action Plan for Public Review and Comment

October 27, 2016

In February 2016, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council released the Seventh Power Plan. This plan identifies the energy efficiency savings potential in the Northwest and establishes a regional savings goal. BPA has committed to achieving a share of the goal established in the Power Plan and developed the EE Action Plan to define their strategy for doing so. The Action Plan forecasts how public power will achieve the savings goals through a variety of EE programs and other channels like market transformation and Momentum Savings as well as identifying the budget required to do so.

Energy Performance Transparency Coming to Seattle Soon

September 28, 2016

Following positive action by the Seattle City Council earlier this year, Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) has held a series of input meetings over the summer with a wide array of stakeholders including building owners and managers, industry representatives, and policy advocates. A final Director's Rule should be published soon which details the specifics for both what and how building energy performance is made publicly available. It's anticipated that public disclosure will begin sometime this fall, but no later than early December.

City of Seattle Moves Forward on Building Tune Up

September 28, 2016

 Seattle has adopted one of the country's most innovative add-on features to energy benchmarking and disclosure - a periodic building tune up policy (click here for more background on the policy). Over the summer, Seattle OSE has hosted a series of both technical working group and public forums to discuss potential features of the required tune up.

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