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Washington

Legislative activities

While the Washington state legislature has not yet approved any laws specifically addressing smart grids, the legislature has passed legislation focusing on net-metering standards in 1998. In 1979 the legislature looked into distributed generation technologies and created contractual methods for entering into solar easements for solar energy systems, this was later revised to include restricting homeowner's associations from prohibiting the installation of solar energy panels. (S.B. 5136) [2, 3]


Regulatory activities

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission had approved demand-side management by 1996. By 2002 the Commission had approved rates for distributed generation and included net metering in 2006. The Commission has also addressed Time of Use rates for businesses but focusing on demand not energy by 1994. [4, 5]

“In August 2007, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission decided not to adopt PURPA Standard 14 (“Time-Based Metering and Communications”) as enacted in EPACT 2005. The Commission determined (1) that it is inappropriate to “require generally” utilities to deploy smart metering and time-based rates and (2) that its existing policy created in response to the 1980 PURPA standards is sufficient relative to EPACT 1252. The Commission, in its August 2007 Decision, also said that comments submitted through the course of its EPACT 1252 proceeding affirmed the existing policy’s prudence. (This policy states that “time-of-day ratemaking is acceptable only if cost-justified,” and all five parties who submitted comments offered evidence that TOU rates and metering are not cost effective.)

The Decision indicated that the Commission plans to consider smart metering and time-based rates on a case-by-case basis—in each utility’s rate case or in “other proceedings considering the varying circumstances of each utility and each utility’s customer classes”—until it determines that uniform standards would be cost effective for all consumers. Furthermore, the Commission directed utilities to consider demand response and smart metering while forecasting loads and assessing resources.” [1]

Demand-side management includes interruptible accounts and energy exchange programs. Interruptible accounts have the customer de-energizes specific load on any day the company requests. Energy exchange programs have the company notify the customer that if they reduce their load they will receive an hourly credit for each hour the company requests curtailment.

Distributed generation includes cogeneration, small power production facilities and net metering installations. The price is either negotiated or a credit is carried forward to the next bill.

Time of Use rates only use the on-peak demand to determine demand pricing.


Utilities and Rate Schedules

Avista Corporation
- Avista Corporation Rates

Pacific Power
- Pacific Power Rates

Puget Sound Energy
- Puget Sound Energy Rates

See the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for information on consumer-owned Cooperatives: http://www.nreca.org/members/MemberDirectory/Pages/default.aspx


State-Level Incentives

Washington offers density bonuses, grants, production incentives, sales tax and use exemptions, and loans for water, wind, and solar, as well as off grid loans.

More information can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?re=1&ee=1&spv=0&st=0&srp=1&state=WA


Additional Resources

State Energy Office:
- Department of Commerce Division of Energy Policy

State Authority Dealing with Energy Regulation:
- Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
- Docket Search: http://wutc.wa.gov/rms2.nsf/frm2005VwFilingWeb?OpenForm&vw2005L1FilingID=TOP#

Revised Code of Washington

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?re=1&ee=1&spv=0&st=0&srp=1&state=WA


References

[1] Demand Response and Smart Metering Policy Actions Since the Energy Policy Act of 2005: A Summary for State Officials, Prepared by the U.S. Demand Response Coordinating Committee for The National Council on Electricity Policy, Fall 2008. URL: http://www.oe.energy.gov/DocumentsandMedia/NCEP_Demand_Response_1208.pdf
[2] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Washington – Net Metering, 05/12/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=WA01R&re=1&ee=1
[3] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Washington Solar Easements & Access Law, 04/16/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=WA02R&re=1&ee=1
[4] Pacific Power, Washington Regulatory Information, Rate Schedules. URL: http://www.pacificpower.net/about/rr/wri.html
[5] Puget Sound Energy, Electric Tariffs & Rules. URL: http://pse.com/aboutpse/Rates/Pages/Electric-Rate-Schedules.aspx?Schedule_x0020_Type=Rate%20and%20Adjusting%20Schedules