Opinion

Energy plan focuses on results, not consensus

The city of Port Orchard raised some eyebrows last week in choosing not to participate in a Puget Sound Energy program that might — and that’s the operative word here — have saved more than it actually cost.

But if recent history in the environmentalism movement has taught us anything, it’s that not being stampeded lemming-like over the cliff in the name of a highly debatable consensus could be the best strategy in the long run.

Under the program, sponsored by Puget Sound Energy, the city would have paid a consultant for three years to identify ways to save energy.

It’s projected that the consultant would have saved the city 2 percent in the first year and 5 percent over the three-year life of the program.

But there are no guarantees.

Bremerton, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and the Port of Bremerton quickly signed on, but Port Orchard declined, which led to charges that the city isn’t sufficiently sensitive to the environment.

Or worse, that it doesn’t care about saving money.

In fact, the Port Orchard City Council decided at its retreat just last month to embark on a full-scale energy audit to be performed by a qualified engineer as part of an even more comprehensive Green Initiative.

So much for not caring about Mother Earth.

As as for the dollars and cents considerations, the city is making the entirely sensible judgment that its tax dollars would be better spent purchasing and installing the necessary improvements than in paying a salaried employee — or in this case a consultant shared with four other jurisdictions — to come to conclusions it’s fully capable of reaching itself.

Far from being the only government in Kitsap County that doesn’t have a clue, it appears Port Orchard is the only one interested in accomplishing something rather than simply talking about it.

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