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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

Energy Assurance

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Overview

Energy assurance is the practice of ensuring a robust, secure, and reliable energy supply in event of an emergency or natural disaster. The role of OED is to support the Energy Advisor in event of an emergency. The Executive Summary and Part 1 of Utah’s Energy Assurance Plan are below.

Excerpts from the  Energy Assurance Plan’s Executive Summary:

An energy emergency is an actual or potential loss of supply that significantly impacts the state’s energy systems to the extent that the peace, health, safety, and welfare of the people of the State of Utah are in jeopardy.  Although one of the State’s energy goals is to strengthen energy security and independence, shortages and interruptions will result from natural disasters or geopolitical events such as war, terrorism, and embargo.  Their impact on essential services and the economy can be significant and even catastrophic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Utah Energy Emergency Plan is the state’s strategy for responding to an energy emergency and it is consistent with the Governor’s Energy Emergency Powers Act (Utah Code § 63K-2-101 to 303).  The Division of Emergency Management is responsible for development and maintenance of the Plan which provides information and guidance for decision makers and the Primary State Agency that is assigned responsibility for coordinating Emergency Support Function (ESF) 12 -Energy, an element of the Utah Emergency Operations Plan.

The Plan relies on a free market approach to control distribution and supply.  Government intervention should occur only to the extent necessary to protect the interests of public health, safety and welfare, along with economic stability and recovery.

During the early stages of an anticipated or actual shortage, or interruption, the primary role of the State is fact-finding, monitoring, and exchanging information rather than direct intervention in industry efforts to restore services and satisfy customer requirements.  This activity is headed up by the Division of Public Utilities Primary, primary agency for Emergency Support Function 12 – Energy.   It also coordinates requests for assistance from local jurisdictions, such as emergency power and fuel supply.

Plan Organization

  • Part I, Basic Plan:  Descriptions and explanations of the plan’s purpose and scope, assigned roles and responsibilities, assumptions and policies, concept of emergency operations, and guidance for prioritizing the allocation and supply of energy.
  • Part II, Energy Emergency Operations:  Guidance and checklists for Emergency Support Function 12 to use in an emergency.
  • Part III, State Response Actions/Measures for Energy Shortages & Interruptions
  • Part IV, Energy Profile:  A summary of Utah’s energy sources, including production, transmission, distribution, and consumption.
  • Part V, Appendices:  This section includes but is not limited to the items listed below.
    • Emergency Fuel Allocation and Supply
    • Energy-Utility Sector Emergency Communication
    • State and Federal Authorities
    • Proclamations and Executive Orders
  • Part VI, Reference Materials and Forms:  Documents included in this section are for use during an emergency.  They are also electronically available for the primary and support ESF 12 agencies in the State Emergency Operations Center.

OED’s Role

Several state agencies serve as key Support Agencies to Emergency Support Function 12, including OED, Utah Geological Survey – Minerals & Oil Program, and the Division of Fleet Operations – Utah Fuel Dispensing Network. The Governor’s Energy Policy Advisor also works closely with the ESF 12 group, as well as energy sector companies and organizations.  These energy stakeholders become acquainted with one another, and learn how they can contact each other in an actual event, through participation in planning meetings, workshops, and exercises that are designed to simulate real emergencies.  A benefit of these associations is an increased understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities and emergency response plans.