(1) The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to support the development of least cost energy sources, including support for research, development, and the prudent use of renewable and nonrenewable supply-side technologies. The Legislature further finds that it is in the public interest to encourage energy efficiency and the use of indigenous energy sources. Consistent with this policy, the public utilities in Nebraska shall practice integrated resource planning and include least cost options when evaluating alternatives for providing energy supply and managing energy demand in Nebraska.
(2) For purposes of this section:
(a) Integrated resource planning means a planning process for new energy resources that evaluates the full range of alternatives, including new generating capacity, power purchases, energy conservation and efficiency, cogeneration and district heating and cooling applications, and renewable energy resources, in order to provide adequate and reliable service to electric customers at the lowest system cost. The process shall take into account necessary features for system operation, such as diversity, reliability, dispatchability, and other factors of risk, shall take into account the ability to verify energy savings achieved through energy conservation and efficiency and the projected durability of such savings measured over time, and shall treat demand and supply resources on a consistent and integrated basis; and
(b) Least cost or least cost option means providing reliable electric services to electric customers which will, to the extent practicable, minimize life-cycle system costs, including adverse environmental effects, of providing the services. To the extent practicable, energy efficiency and renewable resources may be given priority in any least cost planning.