RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
My firm is a small, Oregon-based electrical contracting firm concentrating on lighting efficiency solutions. All of our clients who have made lighting efficiency upgrades have been able to receive the benefit of the BETC. The primary benefit it supplies our clients is that it allows them to begin receiving the benefit of their energy effciency investment in a much shorter timeframe than if the credit did not exist.
Many of our clients could simply not afford to make the necessary investment without the added boost this program provides.
The sooner a ratepayer begins saving energy, the sooner they can use that savings to pay employee wages, ever-increasing healtcare benefit costs, and make other investments that ultimately protect and create jobs.
My greatest anxiety as I have followed these conversations (Harry Esteve, Steve Duin, the Oregonian editorial board, industry reports, etc.) is that the real value this program provides to small businesses (both my clients and mine) will go unnoticed when compared to the questionable value provided to wind farms, biomass plants, and other generating technology. (Remember, conservation is considered to be the quickest, most cost-effective source of generation!) The bottom line is that I am afraid this could easily become a case (like Ken H says) of the baby being thrown out with the bath water. For example, the DOE has recently revised some BETC program rules. One area of change has to do with overages on BETC-approved projects. Instead of modifying the rules regarding project overages (perhaps py applying a tiered structure), the whole concept was eliminated. How much more will be removed with a chainsaw instead of a scalpel?
I keep hearing about these multiple $10 million credits to out-of-state firms that have in turn sold the credits to WalMart (to name one oft cited example). For perspective, most of my clients have received benefits of under $10,000. And all of them are still in business providing jobs to Oregonians.
posted 3 years, 6 months ago
view in context