October 2018 Newsletter
Oregon Ranks Among Top 10 Most Efficient States in the Nation for 12 Years Running
For the twelfth year in a row, Oregon ranks in the top 10 of the most energy efficient states in the country, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. ACEEE’s 2018 scorecard ranks Oregon at No. 7
Joining us in the top 10: California at No. 2 and Washington at No. 9.
Each year, the ACEEE releases its State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which measures states based on utility and public benefit programs and policies; transportation policies; building energy codes; combined heat and power policies; state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency; and appliance and equipment standards. The prioritization of each category changes each year.
For this year's scoring, Oregon received the maximum points for government-led energy initiatives like the State Energy Efficient Design (SEED) Program, which our agency administers, and which outlines energy requirements and benchmarking procedures for public buildings. Our state also was recognized for Governor Brown’s executive orders on energy efficiency and electric vehicles, our strong building energy code programs – which includes a voluntary home energy scoring system – and a transportation/land use system that reduces vehicle miles traveled.
For more info, check out our blog.
ODOE Holds Energy Advisory Work Group and COU Managers Meetings in Salem
Thanks to everyone who attended last week's Energy Advisory Work Group meeting and our COU Managers meeting at our Salem office. The two meetings were held separately but included a joint session where we discussed the upcoming Biennial Energy Report, which will be released later this week.
Meeting materials from the EAWG meeting are available here and include a draft charter for the group that was developed by a small subcommittee of members and ODOE staff.
Highlights from the COU Managers meeting included an update from ODOE staff on state agency efforts to further conversations about Columbia River hydroelectric facilities, court-ordered spill regimes, and how changes in hydro operations affect power supply and greenhouse gas emissions. The intersection between dam operations and endangered species on the Columbia is one of the most complex issues, with decades of history, to solve in Oregon. ODOE staff and COU managers had a thoughtful conversation about the costs of power to utilities and rate-payers, BPA revenues, and efforts to avoid jeopardizing salmon. Expect to hear more about this issue in the future.
Hanford Public Meeting Draws Approximately 65
Earlier this month, the Oregon Department of Energy held a public meeting in Portland on the U.S. Department of Energy's proposal to reclassify high-level radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington. Jeff Burright, ODOE nuclear waste remediation specialist, and other Hanford experts presented to an audience of about 65 people. Jeff's presentation included an overview of ODOE's comments to USDOE on its proposal to reclassify waste, plus a long question-and-answer session where attendees had the opportunity to learn more and offer informal comments.
OPB did a nice overview of the issues. Check it out here.
Want to learn more about Hanford? The Oregon Hanford Cleanup Board will meet November 5-6 in Cascade Locks. Meeting details are on our blog.
"B2H" Meetings Bring Out Dozens in Communities Across Eastern Oregon
We were also pleased with turnout at a series of meetings held in eastern Oregon on the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line project. Members of ODOE's Energy Facility Siting team scheduled the meetings in five Oregon counties where the transmission line is proposed. ODOE staff were joined by representatives from Idaho Power, which recently completed its application for a project site certificate from the Energy Facility Siting Council. The meetings were designed to give Oregonians more information about the project and details about how proposed facilities are reviewed through the state's Energy Facility Siting process. After ODOE staff prepare their initial recommendation on the application (draft proposed order), more meetings will be scheduled to seek public input on both the application and the draft proposed order.
Reports From Around the Agency
Last week, ODOE Emergency Preparedness Manager Deanna Henry presented on the Oregon Fuel Action Plan at the 2018 RADIO Conference in Salem. RADIO stands for Radio Activities, Discussion, Interoperability in Oregon; the conference brings together people working on public safety communication systems.
Two other staffers from ODOE's Emergency Preparedness team were out and about last week: Mark Reese and Ken Niles attended a meeting in Portland hosted by the Western Governors' Association Technical Advisory Group, which deals with the safe transportation of radioactive waste.
Our agency recently completed a joint project with the Oregon Secretary of State's Office evaluating legacy programs and subsequent changes in the agency. Read more about it in the Blue Mountain Eagle or on the SOS website.
With all the energy facility siting news out there, we'll promote our new online dashboard one more time. It shows the latest updates on energy facilities in Oregon and is updated monthly, so check in often for the latest news, or sign up to receive a notice by email when new information is available.
At the Oregon Citizens' Utility Board Conference earlier in October, ODOE senior policy analyst Dan Avery spoke on a panel titled "The Role of Gas in a Decarbonized World." If you missed our announcement in September about a new Renewable Natural Gas inventory for the state, check out the details on our blog.