The Northwest Energy Coalition has just published a great primer on one of our favorite systemic solutions: decoupling utilities’ profits from their energy sales. Decoupling is an obscure but crucially important innovation that supercharges natural gas and electric power (and water) utilities’ incentive to help their customers conserve. Basically, it’s a pricing plan that ensures utilities still profit even if their customers buy less energy from them.

Several additional utilities in the Northwest have won decoupled rates from regulators: NW Natural in Oregon, Cascade Natural Gas in Oregon and Washington, and Spokane’s Avista—all for natural gas; and, for electricity, the Idaho Power Company.

The addition of these new utilities to the ranks of the decoupled is very good news, because the efficiency and climate protection gains that decoupling unleashes are a very big deal