02 September 2022
Note from Councilor Groves:
California Governor Gavin Newson takes action to increase energy supplies and reduce demand.In the midst of another heat wave, California has taken steps to increase energy supplies while employing emergency strategies to reduce demand. This is yet another sign that our West Coast and United States energy grids lack sufficient capacity to support our appetite for power. All of this comes at a time when we are trying to push more load onto an already fragile electrical grid. Fortunately, here in our own area we are currently positioned better than some of these other areas. Still, there are periods when our own local utility, EWEB is forced to buy electricity on the open market at a greatly increased cost.
This is a good opportunity to talk about ways in which we can reduce our demand for power. Weatherizing our older buildings and employing the use of high efficiency equipment is one of the best ways to reduce demand while at the same time reducing the cost of operation. An EWEB Board member recently told me that the best way to hold down utility costs is to create headroom within our current system. He went on to say that it's more cost effective to promote weatherization measures than it is to build more capacity in the system.
I believe we should be developing weatherization incentives to off set the push to add more demand on a system where there are times when demand already exceeds the available supply. As I have shared before, we are already seeing some our largest sources of Northwest renewable electricity generation being threatened as we consider removing hydroelectric projects, the effects of drought, and federal policy that includes scheduled dam spill overs.As more people move into Oregon and the Eugene Springfield Metropolitan area, we need to take a comprehensive look at all of our energy options.