(1) Energy efficiency and conservation measures can effectively contribute to serving total electricity load requirements at the lowest long-term total cost. A utility should develop a comprehensive inventory of all potentially cost-effective demand-side resources available in its service area and optimize the acquisition of demand-side resources over its planning horizon.

(2) A utility should evaluate the cost-effectiveness of demand-side resources and programs based on its long-term avoidable costs. Cost-effectiveness evaluations of demand-side resources should encompass avoidable electricity supply, transmission, and distribution costs.

(3) A nonparticipant (no-losers) test considers utility-sponsored demand-side management programs cost effective only if rates to customers that do not participate in the program are not affected by the program. A utility should not evaluate the cost-effectiveness of demand-side resources using a nonparticipant test.

(4) A utility should develop and strive to achieve targets for steady, sustainable investments in cost-effective, long-term demand-side resources. A utility's investment in demand-side resources should be coordinated with and complement its universal system benefits activities.

(5) Except when the entire resource would otherwise be lost, a utility's demand-side management programs should not be focused on "cream skimming;" the least expensive and most readily obtainable resource potential should be acquired in conjunction with other measures that are cost-effective only if acquired in a package with the least expensive, most readily available resources.

(6) Prudently incurred costs related to procuring demand-side resources are fully recoverable in rates. The commission will evaluate the prudence with which demand-side resources are procured, including resources acquired through programs, subcontractors, and competitive solicitations consistent with evaluations of supply-side resources.

(7) A utility's development of demand-side resources should include an examination of innovative methods to address cost recovery issues related to demand-side resource investments and expenses, including undesirable effects on revenues related to the provision of transmission and distribution services.

History: 69-8-403, MCA; IMP, 69-8-403, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 654, Eff. 4/11/03; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 575, Eff. 3/28/08.