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Company Conservation Programs

Why conservation?

Conservation is defined as any reduction in energy consumption resulting from increases in the efficiency of energy use, production, or distribution. The Energy Independence Act requires electric utilities to pursue all available conservation that is cost-effective, reliable and feasible. Additionally, the UTC's integrated resource planning rules require electric and natural gas companies to meet customer needs with the right mix of energy supply and conservation resources. 

When a utility provides customer incentives for cost-effective conservation this means it is cheaper to help customers save energy and lower system demand than it is to build additional infrastructure or purchase other energy supplies. All customers benefit as a result of these investments.

Utility efforts to conserve energy have contributed to Washington's top ten ranking in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's State Energy Efficiency Scorecard since 2007.

The UTC oversees the conservation services offered by the regulated energy utilities in Washington State: Avista, Cascade Natural Gas, NW Natural, Pacific Power and Puget Sound Energy. Information about the conservation efforts of other Washington utilities is available on the State Energy Office website.

Do you qualify for utility rebates?

Each of the regulated energy utilities offer incentives to residential, commercial, and industrial customers for energy efficient equipment or operations. These include rebates for lighting, space heating, water heating, insulation, and other appliances. Low-income conservation programs are also available from each utility. For information about low-income bill assistance on your energy bill, visit our energy assistance Web page.

To find out which actions qualify for rebates, visit your utility's energy efficiency website:

The Database for State Incentive for Renewable Energy and Efficiency also contains information on energy efficiency incentives across the state. Our consumer energy page has suggestions for how to improve the efficiency of your home. 

Company Plans and Targets

The UTC reviews conservation potential assessments, which are estimates of how much conservation is available in a utility's service territory. UTC staff attend advisory group meetings, and review conservation program designs, targets and budgets. Electric utilities are required to file biennial conservation plans and meet targets for achieving all cost-effective energy conservation. Natural gas conservation programs typically resulted from a general rate case and have similar requirements. Once conservation savings are achieved, UTC staff review annual and biennial reports to ensure cost-effectiveness.     

2020 Annual Conservation Achievement for Washington Utilities

Company Savings (MWh) Savings (Therms) Electric Budget Gas Budget
Avista1               32,593                 595,332 $    10, 871,059 $  4,547,533
Cascade Natural Gas2              -                 673,830              - $  6,033,214
NW Natural3              -                 320,170              - $  2,363,539
Pacific Power4               45,955                 - $     10,840,492           -
Puget Sound Energy5             221,001              4,102,810 $     67,290,592 $15,079,957
     Total             299,549              5,692,142 $     89,002,143 $28,024,243

    

2021 Annual Conservation Plan for Washington Utilities

Company Savings (MWh) Savings (Therms) Electric Budget Gas Budget
Avista6, 7               50,205                 785,347 $      16,045,523 $     5,996,530
Cascade Natural Gas8              -              1,061,827               - $     8,518,965
NW Natural9              -                 399,957               - $     3,665,417
Pacific Power10               43,776                - $      14,642,787             -
Puget Sound Energy11             208,965              3,389,902 $    102,700,629 $   19,432,109
     Total             302,946              5,637,033 $    133,388,939 $   37,613,021

The total amount of savings regulated utilities expect to save in 2021 is roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity it would take to power over 35,000 homes, and the amount of natural gas it would take to supply approximately 7,000 homes.

See additional information on the history of company conservation programs, and saving and spending from prior years.

Footnotes

  1. 2020 Annual Conservation Report, Dockets UE-190912 and UG-190920.
  2. 2020 Annual Conservation Achievement Report, Docket UG-190957.
  3. 2020 Conservation Report on the Energy Efficiency Program, Docket UG-190987.
  4. 2020 Washington Annual Report on Conservation Acquisition, Docket UE-190908. 
  5. 2020 Annual Report of Energy Conservation Accomplishments, Docket UE-190905 and Docket UG-190913. 
  6. 2021 Electric Annual Conservation Plan, Docket UE-190912.
  7. 2021 Natural Gas Annual Conservation Plan, Docket UG-190920.
  8. 2021 Annual Conservation Plan, Docket UG-200961.
  9. 2021 Annual Energy Efficiency Plan, Docket UG-200964.
  10. 2021 Annual Conservation Plan, Docket UE-190908.
  11. 2021 Biennial Conservation Plan, Dockets UE-190905 and UG-190913.