Nancy Hirsh is the Executive Director of NW Energy Coalition. She joins us as a “Wire Insider” to talk about putting a price on carbon, the role of utility providers, and becoming more energy efficient.
We do need a price on carbon. In this state I think it’s important. The West Coast is looking at having all four jurisdictions along the West Coast have some kind of a price on carbon. That’s going to be really important, so that would be my first area of focus.
The second is to ensure that the utilities that are really trying to transition from just being providers of electricity or natural gas, turn into utilities that provide energy services to their customers and are in a cooperative relationship with their customers. So, they might provide electric vehicles, they might provide solar panels, deeper energy efficiency control systems so that there is a stronger energy management system. And that’s going to require some changes to policy and regulatory oversight.
And then the third thing is stronger focus on energy efficiency in our buildings and that means stronger codes. So, we should be driving our buildings to zero net carbon buildings. We need more efficient equipment and appliances and the state can help lead by adopting strong efficiency standards for appliances and equipment.