Lane County Energy

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We're currently engaged in a focused scoping research project around potential Lane County energy reform initiatives. Information will be collected here in an improvisational, work-in-progress format. Minor corrections and any supportive additions are welcome, and comments of any kind are welcome via the discussion tab (above).
Kevin 16:37, 5 October 2010 (PDT)

Contents

Key Questions

A preliminary set of some key questions this research aims to address, intended to evolve in use, include:

  • Within the purview of the BCC and county mission, what types of energy reform-related activities could be pursued?
* Internal to the county government organization, and across the county communities?
  • What Oregon counties have done anything in this range of work, and what documents or results have ensued?
  • What types of activities might be tempting to pursue but are probably not within the productive scope or range of a Lane County work program?

A key goal of this project is to help distinguish high effectiveness, high impact ideas from the great diversity of interesting ideas.

Energy Initiatives to Learn From

Many other counties, and organizations that work with counties, around Oregon and the US have developed focused initiatives around energy reform, and many of these efforts already existing and underway may prove instructive to Lane County.

Oregon County Initiatives

"Governments and community groups throughout the state are taking action to reduce emissions and become more sustainable."
  • The Association of Oregon Counties has a renewable energy and conservation center which provides guidance documents and other information related to renewable energy and green buildings.
  • Clackamas County The Sustainable Clackamas County page links to the Action Plan for a Sustainable Clackamas County.
  • Hood River County (see below) is looking into the development of small-scale, renewable community energy.
  • Klamath County Sustainable Klamath works to link sustainability and economic development in the county.
  • Multnomah County The city's Sustainability Program is a resource for county operations and county residents on climate change and other environment, economic and social equity issues.
  • Washington County sustainability page.
"Clackamas County has been awarded a number of federal grants for various energy initiatives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Office of Sustainability is managing, in partnership with several other County divisions and departments, two major grants: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant... State Energy Program Grant...."
"Hood River County government is analyzing the potential for the County to become involved with the development and operation of small-scale renewable energy generation. The primary objective is to diversify financial resources to support county operations, which was the top priority goal established by the County Board of Commissioners in 2004. Renewable energy power production is a logical fit, as publicly-owned utilities are common and 2005 Oregon PUC decisions regarding community scale renewable energy projects have made them a more practical economic opportunity. As a first step, the county contracted with adipex Western Wind Power to conduct an Initial Resource Assessment for Renewable Energy. The findings of this assessment were very encouraging, indicating that several community-scale projects have potential viability within the County."
"Multnomah County has maintained an active energy program since 1994."
Multnomah County, Oregon - Executive Rule No. 268 - Energy Conservation (2002)
"The Cool Counties initiative seeks to marshal the resources of all 3,066 counties across the nation to address the challenges climate change poses to our communities... King County, Washington, Fairfax County, Virginia, and the Sierra Club led the effort to draft this declaration."
"The County Government Initiative is here to help county governments become more energy efficient and reduce energy costs. We do this by helping you assess, plan, and implement energy-saving measures in county buildings and facilities. We also offer rebates as extra incentive. From staff training to feedback tools, we provide everything you need every step of the way. "
"Brown County government, through a collaborative effort with the Oneida Tribe, was chosen by the Governor’s Office as one of only ten “25x25” pilot communities in Wisconsin! This means we have made a commitment to the State of Wisconsin to become 25% energy independent by the year 2025 through initiatives such as "green" internal policies weight loss supplements and procedures, LEED building criteria and the exploration of alternative energy sources."

Oregon NGO Initiatives

Oregon University and College Energy Initiatives and Resources

http://www.keeporegoncool.org/content/local-initiatives

State and Regional Government

Federal Energy Programs

  • US DOE - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG), and...
  • US EPA - EnergyStar, and _
  • US DOI, DOA, US FWS, USGS - biological carbon sequestration, and...
  • US DOT, FTA

National NGO Energy Programs

  • ICLEI

Lane County Existing Energy Initiatives

Potential Benchmarks

State of Oregon Global Warming Actions

The Board of County Commissioners has formally acknowledged the greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals adopted by the Oregon legislature in 2007 as House Bill 3543, namely by 2010 to begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by 2020 to achieve greenhouse gas levels 10% less than 1990 levels and by 2050 to achieve greenhouse gas levels 75% below 1990 levels.

While greenhouse gas emissions reductions are not exactly the same as energy savings, they are closely related, and it will likely make sense that Lane County energy reform initiatives should be calibrated approximately to fulfill appropriate, proportionally effective roles in the broader picture of overall climate mitigation planning.

Potential Actions to Consider

What are the key areas in which county commissioner actions can lead to important reductions in energy use in Lane County?

What is special about the county level of government, with regard to achieving energy reform, especially as compared to other levels of government? AOC chart of state/county services in oregon

Potential categories of actions

Energy planning and budgeting, benchmarking and reporting, internal and community education

County Government operations

County Government contracting and purchasing

Incentives - loans and investments

County Government regulations

  • Changes to existing regulations
  • Enacting new regulations

County Influence on other governmental entities

  • LCOG
  • MPO
  • State Government
  • State utility regulators
  • Federal Government
  • City Government (Eugene, Springfield and other local governments)

County Influence on energy utility companies that operate in its area:

  • EWEB
  • EPUD
  • Lane Electric
  • Northwest Natural Gas

County influence on regional Land Use and Transportation energy impacts - address for completeness

Potential measures of cost-effectiveness

  • Financial cost/benefit
  • Environmental cost/benefit
  • Sociocultural cost/benefit
  • Effectiveness despite key resource limitation roadblocks:
* available human resources for planning and implementation
* available funding, esp. for implementation
* available participation, esp. for implementation

Potential High Effectiveness Actions

Potential Low Effectiveness Actions

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