RELEASED JOINTLY WITH THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION.
BPA contact: Ed Mosey, (503) 230-5131
SEATTLE— The Bonneville Power Administration and Seattle City Light have reached an agreement under which BPA will fund City Light energy conservation programs over the next two years, and City Light will reduce the amount of power it gets from BPA.
In effect, BPA is buying City Light’s conservation output for the next two years for about $28 million. That will enable the federal energy agency to reduce the amount of power it has to buy on the wholesale power market. At about $20 per megawatt-hour, energy saved through conservation programs is cheaper than buying market power, which is now selling in the range of $25-35 per megawatt-hour.
City Light will sell about 19 megawatts of energy efficiency to BPA through 2003, or enough energy to power about 14,000 homes in City Light’s service territory.
“This is a very important development for the Northwest’s energy future,” said Seattle City Light Superintendent Gary Zarker. “I congratulate BPA for recognizing the value of conservation and helping Northwest utilities develop energy efficiency.”
“This agreement benefits utilities throughout the region,” said BPA Administrator Steve Wright. “Conservation takes the pressure off everyone. It means BPA doesn’t have to go to the market and purchase expensive resources to serve its customer utilities.”
The agreement is part of BPA’s Conservation Augmentation program, through which BPA plans to capture 100 megawatts of conservation over five years from utilities throughout the Northwest. Wright said BPA has received commitments for 66 average megawatts of conservation this year.
Seattle City Light has been a regional leader in energy conservation and has maintained its conservation programs since the late 1970s, even when most regional utilities were eliminating them in the 1990s. The early decades focused on residential customers, a market that now is virtually saturated. Today’s programs work more with new residential construction and commercial and industrial customers, paying them to install cost-effective measures beyond those required by local, state and federal energy codes.