Energizing the Energy Policy Process: The Impact of Evaluation

By Roberta W. Walsh; John G. Heilman | Go to book overview

8
The Implications of Integrated Resource Planning for Evaluators 1

Cynthia A. Melendy

Editors' Note: As discussed in Chapter 1, the context of energy policy and programs within which evaluators conduct their work has changed dramatically in recent years. One consequence of this change has been the emergence of multiple pressures and constraints on evaluation. Some of them arise within the broad policy setting; others arise within the evaluator's organizational settings. This and the next chapter deal with matters of context, and Chapters 10 and 11 address organizational issues. As discussed in Chapter 1, integrated resource planning (IRP) represents a significant departure from the electric utility industry's traditional practice of projecting future demand Here, Melendy sets forth the significance of evaluation in integrating the supply achieved from demand-side management (DSM) programs into the long-range scenario. Evaluation results have widespread impacts and ramifications. Changes in the fundamental questions being asked can thus carry big consequences. Whereas traditional planning bases forecasts on past consumption practices, under IRP these consumption trends are assumed to be altered. The impact of DSM must be taken into account. What resources and how much can be replaced based on DSM programs? Planners must turn to evaluation to help determine the answers.

In this chapter, Cynthia Melendy discusses the new issues and responsibilities that evaluators thus face. In doing so, she integrates

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