Seattle rolls out expansion of MEETS, seeks up to 30 more commercial buildings, recognizes energy efficiency as an energy resource

From the MEETS Coalition website:

There is solar energy.

There is wind energy.

Now, there is efficiency energy.

On January 16, 2020, Seattle City Light (SCL) finalized its plan to expand its use of MEETS, building on the success of the utility’s pilot at the Bullitt Center.   SCL calls the program Energy Efficiency as a Service (EEaS).

A New Resource: Efficiency Energy

During the development of this program, the MEETS Coalition strongly advocated for the adoption of a new term: “Efficiency Energy.”   Seattle City Light agreed.

  • Efficiency Energy is metered, not estimated or deemed.
  • Efficiency Energy is transacted in energy units.   In this case, kWhs.
  • Efficiency Energy is procured, as an energy resource, under a power purchase agreement, just like wind and solar.
  • Efficiency Energy is sold to the end use customer as an energy resource.

MEETS/EEaS Changes the Way EE Transacts [See How MEETS WORKS]

  • An Efficiency Energy Developer signs a long-term power purchase agreement with the utility.
    • In the EEaS program, SCL is paying 7% less than the initial retail rate, for up to 20 years, with a 2% escalator. This creates the cashflows necessary for deep EE.
  • Efficiency Energy is metered by an independent, unbiased, and transparent third-party on a monthly basis.   There is no “black box.”
  • No utility incentives are paid.   Hence, MEETS/EEaS make EE less expensive for utilities than traditional approaches.
  • The utility places the metered Efficiency Energy on the building’s retail energy bill.
    • If properly accounted for, this eliminates the “lost units” that contribute to the utility “death spiral.”

Seattle’s Road to MEETS Expansion

Seattle City Light received unanimous regulatory approval for up to 30 commercial buildings and is seeking 15 in this first round solicitation.   The utility announcement and program description can be found here.   The deadline is March 31, 2020.

City of Seattle