Performance standards are a valid idea—if targets are achievable.
Dr. Haeri is a principal and Mr. Morris a senior associate at The Cadmus Group.</bio>
The Northwest Power and Conservation Planning Council (NPCPC ) was formed under the authority granted by the 1980 Federal Power Act (FPA). The primary role of the NPCPC is to assure an adequate and reliable supply of electricity in the Pacific Northwest. Every five years, the council forecasts the region’s long-term demand for electricity and examines different ways to meet it. The result is a 20-year resource plan that recommends a mix of power supply and cost-effective conservation options, always treating conservation as the highest priority.
The NPCPC produced the first regional power plan in 1983, projecting on average as much as 4,790 MW (e.g., 42 million MWh) of cost-effective conservation likely would be achievable by 2002. Under the FPA, the Bonneville Power Administration, which is the regional federal power marketing agency, is required to make resource acquisition decisions consistent with the power plan, including the acquisition of all identified cost-effective conservation. Publication of the 1983 power plan, therefore, marked what is possibly the first formal energy-efficiency performance standard (EEPS) in the United States.1