In Pacific County, our PUD is currently buying power from The Bonneville Power Administration that comes under the Tier 1 rating which costs about $31 per Mwh. We are on the verge of using more Tier 1 power than is designated for our area meaning we would need to start purchasing Tier 2 power. Tier 2 power price fluctuates day-to-day with supply and demand and may cost as much as four times higher than Tier 1 power. If we start conserving power, it will help to ensure we stay under the Tier 1 power rates. Thus helping all of us to continue to enjoy the cheap energy we currently have. Our project is to discover if people would be willing to conserve energy if they understood that it would be helping out the community at large and not just themselves.
There are many ways to save energy just in your day-to-day tasks! You can cover floors with rugs, ensure air vents are not blocked by furniture, put on a sweater and lower the thermostat! It’s really very simple and also saves money!
Below is a more formal description in very general terms of Tier 1 and Tier 2 courtesy of Humaira Falkenberg, Pacific County PUD Power Resource Manager.
“Most Public utilities in the northwest purchase most of their whole sale electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA.) BPA provides this low cost power from the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) to the utilities through Regional Dialogue power sales contracts. These new power sales contracts are based on a foundation of tiered rates.
“Tiered rates, in simplest terms, means that utilities can lock in a set amount of power from the existing federal system at a low cost rate called Tier1. Any energy beyond this set amount can be purchased at Tier 2 rates from BPA or the utility can purchase that power from the open power market, or build its own resource. Tier 2 rates from BPA are based on actual or forecast price which can be considerably higher than Tier 1 rates.
“As a result, utilities are looking at conservation, energy efficiency and demand-side management to stretch the value of their Tier 1 power, and avoid, more costly power at Tier 2 rates.”
Our team will be taking surveys to see if people would be willing to conserve energy to help others save money as well as for the health of the environment. We hope you will take the time and honestly answer our four question survey. You may find the survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/952DBLQ