How Avista Stays Efficient

Noteworthy programs help us deliver your energy quickly and affordably.

Our energy programs bring us all closer to our goals. They include:

  • The Demand-Side Management (DSM) Tariff Rider which provides nearly $30 million in annual funding of energy efficiency and market transformation programs.
  • Reduction of approximately 10 percent of retail loads over the years, or 120 aMW. This is the equivalent of avoiding two power plants the size of Avista’s Kettle Falls Generating Station.
  • One of the longest ongoing energy efficiency advisory group in the country. It meets semi-annually and participates in several webinar/conference calls to discuss meeting customer needs.
  • Continued recycling and program to support it, including a 25 year partnership with a local non-profit, that employs developmentally disabled people.

How we ensure reliable energy

Speaker 1: Unlike a lot of goods like clothing or furniture, electricity can't be made ahead of time, packaged and shipped to retailers. It has to be generated to meet real time demand. In other words, every time you turn on a light switch, we increase our generating output ever so slightly to deliver the electricity you need. It's a delicate balance between supply and demand. A balance that involves managing a diverse resource mix to produce energy based on a prediction of much our customers will need at any given time. 

Not only are we thinking about today's usage, we're also forecasting tomorrow's as well. So we can make investments in generation and distribution based on where we believe energy consumption will be 5, 10, even 20 years from now. For example, we anticipate adding nearly 100,000 customers to our service area by the year 2021, bringing with them a 1.6% annual growth in electricity demand. How will we then meet that incremental need in a responsible, environmentally sound matter and at a reasonable cost to our customers?

There are really only three ways. We could buy excess electricity on the open market as needed. We could build additional power plants. Or we could enact efficiency measures to conserve the resources we have like implementing system upgrades and improvements. Or helping our customers be more efficient with their energy usage. The right answer isn't always clear.

So we obtain input from customers, consumer advocates, universities, utility peers and both state and federal agencies to help us make the most informed decisions possible. Every two years we develop a plan for the future. A roadmap for meeting customer demand while balancing costs, reliability, and renewable energy requirements. It's a big job but it's the kind of challenge that for 125 years now has shaped the character of our company and led to some of the most innovative thinking in the industry.

Planning and regulation requirements

DSM In-Depth | Key Planning Documents and Regulatory Requirements

Avista 2016.2017 BCP
2014-2015 Biennial Conservation Report (BCR)
2014-2015 Biennial Conservation Plan
2014 Annual Conservation Report (ACR) and Cost Effective Analysis
Appendix A - Washington 2014 Electric Impact Memorandum
Appendix B - Washington 2014 Natural Gas Impact Memorandum
EIA Commerce Filing
2013 Washington Annual Report
2013 DSM Business Plan
EM&V Framework
EM&V 2013 Plan
WA Elec. 2012-2013 Biennial Conservation Plan (BCP)
WUTC “BCP” Order (Outlining Washington electric conditions)
2012 Annual Report Demand-Side Management
2011 DSM Annual Report
2010-2011 Biennial Conservation Plan

Recent DSM presentations

AESP 20th Anniversary Presentation
Avista DSM Overview
Measuring Results of Energy Efficiency Programs

Renewable energy

Biomass

Byproducts convert into biogas through the natural process of anaerobic digestion., which burns to create electricity. Byproducts, like wood waste, may also be burned directly to generate steam to produce electricity.

Geothermal

Produces two types of electricity from hydrothermal resources: steam and binary. Steam uses very hot water resources to rotate a turbine, which activates a generator to produce power. Binary uses lower temperature resources with a heat exchanger to generate electricity.

Hydroelectric

Clean, efficient, and reliable, hydro accounts for half of Avista’s electricity. Dams guide water to drive turbines and a generator to create electricity.

Solar

Photovoltaic cells capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. This inexhaustible source of energy produces no carbon dioxide emissions, but remains a more expensive form of renewable energy.

Wind

The world’s fastest growing renewable energy resource generates emission-free electricity with turbine blades