I will attend the 9/30/2014 9:30 AM hearing of Oregon's Public Utilities Commission, in the matter of Docket UM1622 . If I am allowed to speak, I will offer my wishes for a good future of residential energy conservation in my state. I will be speaking with the unique voice of one who does the work with highest diligence, honesty and creativity. I do the work by means of my own invention, not as a rube dragged into scams by national scandal of the US Department Of Energy, dumb-dumb Home Performance With Energy Star, HPwES. HPwES teaches that infiltration is what makes us cold. Tighten up a home with the magic of a blower door. Measure the results and the savings with a blower door. Not so! Fresh air within our reasonable control against excess, is nearly free . The US Department of Energy never did the math. They know nothing of math . Where we find foolish programs lacking return on investment, we have been dragged in by DOE , EPA, and their propagandist ICF International.
I want Oregon to lead the nation in a better way, anticipating the hard times ahead, where, within ten years , our queer bubble of cheap energy expires. If responsible people act wisely, they may avoid being cursed in those days ahead, for cruel inaction. Work done today not only has payback over a life of fifty years; it avoids the inflation in labor and materials, amplifying benefits in energy cost savings. When economy is most needed, it may be out of reach.
My contributions for the hearing are naive PDF printings of four blog posts found here. What a wonderful thing, Google's Blogger, where my writing may be read and PDF-printed in any language. I think these printings are blessed with sincerity lacking in the simple trash of some contributors, such as far-right-fracking-lover Cascade Policy Institute , cheering the end of inconvenient energy conservation our grandchildren-be-damned.
So, what shall I say at the hearing? (I hope others will help me to edit this list.)
1. Don't take a path where we become honor-bound to eliminate Oregon's Public Purpose Fund, no longer engaged in residential weatherization, which is its justification. Weatherization with government sponsorship must not have as its only goal the reduced cost to Utilities supplying energy. If because of bad choices and mismanagement of programs, OPUC and Energy Trust take a direction contrary to consumer interest in saving energy by known means of insulation, tight construction, better HVAC systems and better lighting, then the government sponsorship becomes disgraced and obscene. We must not take that path. Let us instead consider measures only by their public good. Any measure with fifty-year annual return to utility customers greater than 6%, shall be within bounds for Fund sponsorship. The rate of return shall include expected inflation in cost of accepted measures. Measures without proven durability shall be excluded. A full palate of qualifying measures shall be managed for each customer, by a customer-managed checklist.
2. Delivery of residential weatherization pursuant to Oregon's Public Purpose Fund must be increased on a grand scale . This will be difficult while retail cost of energy remains low. The State Of Oregon shall require policy based on fifty year cost of energy and fifty year durability of weatherization measures. Then, encourage increase of action by up-front financing in a loan fund that shall grow to at least one billion dollars. Immediately impound all Public Purpose Fund revenue as a true fund, none to be disbursed except as in loans.
3. Reinstate attic floor sealing and duct sealing as sponsored measures. These have been removed happily by Energy Trust, only because they are an obstacle to blow and go cheap and dishonest weatherization, the mainstay of Energy Trust's reportable accomplishments. Done right, they are inexpensive, and customers find investments repaid in about two years. Proper HVAC ducting should have no leakage.
4. Abolish Clean Energy Works Oregon. This organization is illegally outside the regulation of the Public Purpose Fund, and should never have been formed.
5. Reform or replace Energy Trust Of Oregon as principal implementor of weatherization. Where all sponsored action is through loans, the absurd weatherization measure of the month, in rebates, is gone as a driver. We will find better drivers. All weatherization measures will be tracked and quality-controlled, regardless of payback priorities. Eligible measures for loans will be tightly controlled and no home may receive a first-round total of more than, say, $5000.
6. Bring all homes into management, especially rental homes. Know that parallel programs will be in place immediately for business properties. Priority in business property weatherization loans shall serve renters of business properties.