The WV Legislature passed a compromise integrated resource planning bill in 2014. The language of the bill is available here.
Integrated Resource Planning (IRP), which is also referred to as Least Cost Planning, is a process used by utility companies to determine the mix of resources that will meet electricity demand at the lowest cost and to provide this analysis to the Public Service Commission for review. For this analysis, utilities evaluate the costs and risks of a range of options – including traditional power plants, energy efficiency, and other alternate ways of meeting demand.
Twenty-seven states have an integrated resource planning process. A twenty-year planning horizon is most common among states with an integrated resource planning process. The recommendations in an integrated resource plan are not binding, but the utility must justify to regulators any departures from the plan, particularly in rate cases. The graph below shows which states have Integrated Resource Planning.
Integrated Resource, or Least Cost, planning is used by many state public service commissions to evaluate the costs and benefits of different power company plans for meeting electric power demand (including traditional power plants, small-scale generation and energy efficiency) to determine the right mix of resources to meet state needs at the lowest rates, while still providing reliable electric service.
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