PORTLAND, Ore. -- Improved energy efficiency reduced power demand by an amount equal to about 148,000 homes across the Northwest last year.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council said regional energy savings in 2008 were the best for any year since record keeping began 30 years ago.
The Portland-based council said that 2008 efficiency improvements conserved a total of 234 average megawatts of electricity -- or the output of an average-size natural gas-fired power plant.
Nearly two-thirds of the energy savings was in homes, mostly from switching to compact fluorescent lights. Commercial buildings had the second-largest efficiency gains.
The council is an agency of the states of Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Washington created by Congress with the Northwest Power Act of 1980.