Friday, September 26, 2014

Is UM 1622 Already Decided? An End Of Weatherization In Oregon?

Is UM 1622 Already Decided?

Oregon's Public Utility Commission "Staff", whoever that means, has issued what appears to be the full breadth of an expected OPUC ruling:

Description:  Staff Report for September 30, 2014 Public Meeting (Item No. 1); Filed by Juliet Johnson.
Utility Company: 
Type of Activity:  STAFF REPORT, filed on 9/25/2014.
To view this document, please click on the below link:

Here at document page 22, is the entirety of the staff recognition of my comments and the full breadth of my internet sharing, evident through all hyperlinks:

In response to this docket Phillip Norman provided excerpts from a blog that he writes.
In the blog excerpts he asserts gas prices will go up due to future unforeseen tracking

Yes, that's a typo of fracking. Does Staff know anything about this evil? You will correct this typo, and nothing else in the issued ruling, in your evil misconception about cheap energy-to-be-wasted. Each deeply-felt comment got similar snooty dismissal. There is no excuse that you have not applied fifty year cost of energy in the math. And, you have not even questioned Energy Trust's undocumented queer math, so out of touch with the reality known to most home owners, who are not going to Cabo for the Winter. Is there more to it than wrong energy cost and the huge overhead in low-volume delivery?

Here at document page 74 is the recommendation of OPUC Staff in matters of single family residential weatherization:

Here at document page 74 is the recommendation of OPUC Staff in matters of multifamily residential weatherization:

If enacted, this means Energy Trust may spend Public Purpose funds, give small incentives as their queer means, for attic insulation only.  This ignores the fact that Energy Trust overhead is about $25,000 per home served, and rebate amounts are meaningless in the big picture.

At 10/3/2014, the deed is done:
Description:  Errata Order No. 14-343, signed by Commissioners John Savage and Stephen M. Bloom; DISPOSITION:  ORDER NO. 14-332 CORRECTED.  Copies electronically served 10/3/14.
Utility Company: 
Type of Activity:  ORDER, signed on 10/3/2014.
To view this document, please click on the below link:

The public shall judge that only attic insulation matters; all other measures are not cost effective. This is mean. It is wrong. It ignores all facts I have presented for OPUC consideration. The idiotic air sealing pilot program I have criticized , though called Final, and should-be-dead, is continued somehow.

And, here let us call a distinction in single family programs between existing homes and new homes. Public Purpose funds should never be spent on new homes. Their quality of construction is a matter of code enforcement and commercial, not society, quality control. Perhaps new means are needed to ensure quality with spec homes, as with an assigned and paid outside party. Quality increments in costs are borne without issue in new mortgages. It is only in the matter of somehow-defective existing homes, that  interest is due for an unwary public. Energy Trust and OPUC shall have no fiduciary relationship with new-home builders. Especially, Energy Trust shall cease offering bribes to new-home builders to apply meaningless Energy Performance Score labels, EPS,  a commercial product sold to Cake Systems and taking about $1000 per label from Public Purpose funds, just in payouts to builders; perhaps double that counting assorted overhead. The illegality in not being subject to any test of benefit. Acquiring a rating is a commercial decision, and many rating systems are recognized by Oregon Department of Energy . It is wrong to use public funds to favor the ETO/ Cake Systems product. This aside, where is there a need for public incentives in new home construction? OPUC is doing nothing about misadventures with EPS, while acting to wreck existing-home weatherization.

An End Of Weatherization In Oregon?

Of course not. If residential weatherization becomes fully detached from Energy Trust and the OPUC, the public will demand new management, and some workable use of the taxes in a still-mandated Public Purpose Fund. Programs not engaged in residential weatherization will not be tolerated.

Comments Upon the 9/30/2014 OPUC Public Meeting
I did get to speak at the hearing, but no one at this "public meeting" had any influence. Action had already been firmly decided without need or any real consideration of public comment. Were those who spoke recorded, even? The process has been a sham, and I accuse the American Legislative Exchange Council has played a very silent but big role in the crime. We get badly installed attic insulation where our Public Purpose Fund and Energy Trust have anything to do with it, nothing more. Outside the Portland area, agencies other than Energy Trust perhaps still have good resort to Public Purpose funds, and may not be shut down by hammer-wielding OPUC. Commissioners accept that in five months, most Portland-area weatherization workers will lose their jobs, and good riddance to us. A six month delay was asked; five were granted in compromise from first-offered four, unilaterally by godlike Commissioner John Savage. Dispirited, many will seek other work with a future, immediately. This is stupid, really, really stupid.  I think this is deliberate elimination of public support of weatherization, eliminating the involved taxes upon natural gas and electricity bills. I hope we say good riddance to OPUC and Energy Trust, after re-creating a Public Purpose Fund as a draw upon state income taxes, say 1%, whatever is a similar amount. Weatherization should be for everyone, even those heating with wood, and strong association with fracked natural gas, even for electricity, has been troublesome. I hope the utility tax, while still in the law, will be impounded for issue in up-front loans through an Oregon State Bank. Where for all these years half of the tax contribution has been from home owners and only 15% has come back to them, we have some catching up to do, for fairness. And hereafter it shall not be that any favored person is given anything. All action shall be in the form of fair loans to anyone, for qualifying highest-integrity work, as it should always have been. If nothing were being "given away", there could have been no basis for the lynching.

No comments: