BILL REQ. #: S-3538.1
|State of Washington||63rd Legislature||2014 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/16/14. Referred to Committee on Energy, Environment & Telecommunications.
AN ACT Relating to measures that will provide energy assistance for low-income families within the framework of the energy independence act; amending RCW 19.285.040 and 19.285.050; reenacting and amending RCW 19.285.030; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 The legislature finds that the energy
independence act was enacted in 2006 with the objectives of
diversifying the state's renewable energy resource mix, to build upon
the state's strong foundation of clean energy through its hydropower
resources, to avoid the air pollution and climate changing impacts from
fossil-fueled power plants, and to create jobs and boost local
economies by encouraging investments in new renewable resources.
The legislature further finds that these objectives are already beginning to be achieved. For example, after just one year tracking energy efficiency under the energy independence act in 2010, the state's conservation achievements are at an all-time high. The energy independence act's renewable energy standards have generated over seven billion dollars of new investment in renewable energy resources, creating five thousand construction and two thousand two hundred permanent jobs across Washington and the Pacific Northwest. All of the electrical utilities subject to the energy independence act have met the first benchmark under the energy independence act, resulting in six hundred fifty average megawatts of new renewables, which is enough to power more than one-half million homes.
The legislature further finds that the energy independence act can achieve even greater levels of renewable resource generation and energy conservation with modifications that recognize additional types of new renewable generation and that provide greater incentives to maximize utility investments in energy conservation, and therefore this act contains such modifications.
The legislature further finds that, because lower income families expend a far greater proportion of their income to provide electricity and heat to their homes, it is a fundamental responsibility in all state energy policies to ensure that this lifeline service is preserved for the most vulnerable among us. Therefore, this act includes provisions that provide utilities several incentives to increase energy assistance to low-income families through mechanisms that recognize these investments within the framework of the energy independence act.
Sec. 2 RCW 19.285.030 and 2013 c 158 s 1, 2013 c 99 s 1, and 2013
c 61 s 1 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Attorney general" means the Washington state office of the attorney general.
(2) "Auditor" means: (a) The Washington state auditor's office or its designee for qualifying utilities under its jurisdiction that are not investor-owned utilities; or (b) an independent auditor selected by a qualifying utility that is not under the jurisdiction of the state auditor and is not an investor-owned utility.
(3)(a) "Biomass energy" includes: (i) Organic by-products of pulping and the wood manufacturing process; (ii) animal manure; (iii) solid organic fuels from wood; (iv) forest or field residues; (v) untreated wooden demolition or construction debris; (vi) food waste and food processing residuals; (vii) liquors derived from algae; (viii) dedicated energy crops; and (ix) yard waste.
(b) "Biomass energy" does not include: (i) Wood pieces that have been treated with chemical preservatives such as creosote, pentachlorophenol, or copper-chrome-arsenic; (ii) wood from old growth forests; or (iii) municipal solid waste.
(4) "Coal transition power" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 80.80.010.
(5) "Commission" means the Washington state utilities and transportation commission.
(6) "Conservation" means any reduction in electric power consumption resulting from increases in the efficiency of energy use, production, or distribution.
(7) "Cost-effective" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 80.52.030.
(8) "Council" means the Washington state apprenticeship and training council within the department of labor and industries.
(9) "Customer" means a person or entity that purchases electricity for ultimate consumption and not for resale.
(10) "Department" means the department of commerce or its successor.
(11) "Distributed generation" means an eligible renewable resource where the generation facility or any integrated cluster of such facilities has a generating capacity of not more than five megawatts.
(12) "Eligible renewable resource" means:
(a) Electricity from a generation facility powered by a renewable resource other than freshwater that commences operation after March 31, 1999, where: (i) The facility is located in the Pacific Northwest; or (ii) the electricity from the facility is delivered into Washington state on a real-time basis without shaping, storage, or integration services;
(b) Incremental electricity produced as a result of efficiency improvements completed after March 31, 1999, to hydroelectric generation projects owned by a qualifying utility and located in the Pacific Northwest ((
or to hydroelectric generation in irrigation pipes
and canals located in the Pacific Northwest,)) where the additional
generation (( in either case)) does not result in new water diversions
(c) That portion of incremental electricity produced as a result of efficiency improvements completed after March 31, 1999, attributable to a qualifying utility's share of the electricity output to hydroelectric generation projects whose energy output is marketed by the Bonneville power administration where the additional generation does not result in new water diversions or impoundments;
(d) Hydroelectric generation from a project completed after March 31, 1999, where the generation facility is located in irrigation pipes, irrigation canals, water pipes whose primary purpose is for conveyance of water for domestic use, and wastewater pipes located in Washington where the generation does not result in new water diversions or impoundments;
(e) Qualified biomass energy; or
(d))) (f) For a qualifying utility that serves customers in other
states, electricity from a generation facility powered by a renewable
resource other than freshwater that commences operation after March 31,
1999, where: (i) The facility is located within a state in which the
qualifying utility serves retail electrical customers; and (ii) the
qualifying utility owns the facility in whole or in part or has a long-term contract with the facility of at least twelve months or more.
(13) "Investor-owned utility" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 19.29A.010.
(14) "Load" means the amount of kilowatt-hours of electricity delivered in the most recently completed year by a qualifying utility to its Washington retail customers.
(15)(a) "Nonpower attributes" means all environmentally related characteristics, exclusive of energy, capacity reliability, and other electrical power service attributes, that are associated with the generation of electricity from a renewable resource, including but not limited to the facility's fuel type, geographic location, vintage, qualification as an eligible renewable resource, and avoided emissions of pollutants to the air, soil, or water, and avoided emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
(b) "Nonpower attributes" does not include any aspects, claims, characteristics, and benefits associated with the on-site capture and destruction of methane or other greenhouse gases at a facility through a digester system, landfill gas collection system, or other mechanism, which may be separately marketable as greenhouse gas emission reduction credits, offsets, or similar tradable commodities. However, these separate avoided emissions may not result in or otherwise have the effect of attributing greenhouse gas emissions to the electricity.
(16) "Pacific Northwest" has the same meaning as defined for the Bonneville power administration in section 3 of the Pacific Northwest electric power planning and conservation act (94 Stat. 2698; 16 U.S.C. Sec. 839a).
(17) "Public facility" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 39.35C.010.
(18) "Qualified biomass energy" means electricity produced from a biomass energy facility that: (a) Commenced operation before March 31, 1999; (b) contributes to the qualifying utility's load; and (c) is owned either by: (i) A qualifying utility; or (ii) an industrial facility that is directly interconnected with electricity facilities that are owned by a qualifying utility and capable of carrying electricity at transmission voltage.
(19) "Qualifying utility" means an electric utility, as the term "electric utility" is defined in RCW 19.29A.010, that serves more than twenty-five thousand customers in the state of Washington. The number of customers served may be based on data reported by a utility in form 861, "annual electric utility report," filed with the energy information administration, United States department of energy.
(20) "Renewable energy credit" means a tradable certificate of proof of at least one megawatt-hour of an eligible renewable resource where the generation facility is not powered by freshwater. The certificate includes all of the nonpower attributes associated with that one megawatt-hour of electricity, and the certificate is verified by a renewable energy credit tracking system selected by the department.
(21) "Renewable resource" means: (a) Water; (b) wind; (c) solar energy; (d) geothermal energy; (e) landfill gas; (f) wave, ocean, or tidal power; (g) gas from sewage treatment facilities; (h) biodiesel fuel as defined in RCW 82.29A.135 that is not derived from crops raised on land cleared from old growth or first-growth forests where the clearing occurred after December 7, 2006; or (i) biomass energy.
(22) "Rule" means rules adopted by an agency or other entity of Washington state government to carry out the intent and purposes of this chapter.
(23) "Year" means the twelve-month period commencing January 1st and ending December 31st.
Sec. 3 RCW 19.285.040 and 2013 c 158 s 2 are each amended to read
(1) Each qualifying utility shall pursue all available conservation that is cost-effective, reliable, and feasible.
(a) By January 1, 2010, ((
using methodologies consistent with those
used by the Pacific Northwest electric power and conservation planning
council in its most recently published regional power plan,)) each
qualifying utility shall identify its achievable cost-effective
conservation potential through 2019 using methodologies developed by
the department under subsection (4) of this section. At least every
two years thereafter, the qualifying utility shall review and update
this assessment for the subsequent ten-year period.
(b) Beginning January 2010, each qualifying utility shall establish and make publicly available a biennial acquisition target for cost-effective conservation consistent with its identification of achievable opportunities in (a) of this subsection, and meet that target during the subsequent two-year period. At a minimum, each biennial target must be no lower than the qualifying utility's pro rata share for that two-year period of its cost-effective conservation potential for the subsequent ten-year period.
(c) In meeting its conservation targets, a qualifying utility may count high-efficiency cogeneration owned and used by a retail electric customer to meet its own needs. High-efficiency cogeneration is the sequential production of electricity and useful thermal energy from a common fuel source, where, under normal operating conditions, the facility has a useful thermal energy output of no less than thirty-three percent of the total energy output. The reduction in load due to high-efficiency cogeneration shall be: (i) Calculated as the ratio of the fuel chargeable to power heat rate of the cogeneration facility compared to the heat rate on a new and clean basis of a best-commercially available technology combined-cycle natural gas-fired combustion turbine; and (ii) counted towards meeting the biennial conservation target in the same manner as other conservation savings.
(d) Any conservation achieved by a qualifying utility in excess of its biennial target may be applied as a direct credit toward any of the next three subsequent biennial targets, such that no more than fifty percent of any biennial target may be met with excess conservation savings.
(e) In meeting its conservation targets, a qualifying utility may count investments in conservation in residential living units occupied by low-income families or individuals at one and two-tenths times that of other conservation investments.
(f) The commission may determine if a conservation program implemented by an investor-owned utility is cost-effective based on the commission's policies and practice.
(e))) (g) The commission may rely on its standard practice for
review and approval of investor-owned utility conservation targets.
(2)(a) Except as provided in ((
(j))) (k) of this subsection, each
qualifying utility shall use: Eligible renewable resources (( or
acquire equivalent)); renewable energy credits(( ,)); up to fifty
percent of conservation achieved in excess of a biennial target as
identified under subsection (1) of this section; low-income energy
assistance as provided under (m) of this subsection; or any combination
of (( them)) these, to meet the following annual targets:
(i) At least three percent of its load by January 1, 2012, and each year thereafter through December 31, 2015;
(ii) At least nine percent of its load by January 1, 2016, and each year thereafter through December 31, 2019; and
(iii) At least fifteen percent of its load by January 1, 2020, and each year thereafter.
(b) Except as provided in (a) and (m) of this subsection, any excess conservation applied to a future biennium under subsection (1) of this section may not be used to meet an annual acquisition target under this subsection (2).
(c) A qualifying utility may count distributed generation at double the facility's electrical output if the utility: (i) Owns or has contracted for the distributed generation and the associated renewable energy credits; or (ii) has contracted to purchase the associated renewable energy credits.
(c))) (d) In meeting the annual targets in (a) of this
subsection, a qualifying utility shall calculate its annual load based
on the average of the utility's load for the previous two years.
(d))) (e) A qualifying utility shall be considered in compliance
with an annual target in (a) of this subsection if: (i) The utility's
weather-adjusted load for the previous three years on average did not
increase over that time period; (ii) after December 7, 2006, the
utility did not commence or renew ownership or incremental purchases of
electricity from resources other than coal transition power or
renewable resources other than on a daily spot price basis and the
electricity is not offset by equivalent renewable energy credits; and
(iii) the utility invested at least one percent of its total annual
retail revenue requirement that year on eligible renewable resources,
renewable energy credits, or a combination of both.
(e))) (f) The requirements of this section may be met for any
given year with renewable energy credits produced during that year, the
preceding year, or the subsequent year. Each renewable energy credit
may be used only once to meet the requirements of this section.
(f))) (g) In complying with the targets established in (a) of
this subsection, a qualifying utility may not count:
(i) Eligible renewable resources or distributed generation where the associated renewable energy credits are owned by a separate entity; or
(ii) Eligible renewable resources or renewable energy credits obtained for and used in an optional pricing program such as the program established in RCW 19.29A.090.
(g))) (h) Where fossil and combustible renewable resources are
cofired in one generating unit located in the Pacific Northwest where
the cofiring commenced after March 31, 1999, the unit shall be
considered to produce eligible renewable resources in direct proportion
to the percentage of the total heat value represented by the heat value
of the renewable resources.
(h))) (i)(i) A qualifying utility that acquires an eligible
renewable resource or renewable energy credit may count that
acquisition at one and two-tenths times its base value:
(A) Where the eligible renewable resource comes from a facility that commenced operation after December 31, 2005; and
(B) Where the developer of the facility used apprenticeship programs approved by the council during facility construction.
(ii) The council shall establish minimum levels of labor hours to be met through apprenticeship programs to qualify for this extra credit.
(i))) (j) A qualifying utility shall be considered in compliance
with an annual target in (a) of this subsection if events beyond the
reasonable control of the utility that could not have been reasonably
anticipated or ameliorated prevented it from meeting the renewable
energy target. Such events include weather-related damage, mechanical
failure, strikes, lockouts, and actions of a governmental authority
that adversely affect the generation, transmission, or distribution of
an eligible renewable resource under contract to a qualifying utility.
(j))) (k)(i) Beginning January 1, 2016, only a qualifying utility
that owns or is directly interconnected to a qualified biomass energy
facility may use qualified biomass energy to meet its compliance
obligation under (( RCW 19.285.040(2))) this subsection.
(ii) A qualifying utility may no longer use electricity and associated renewable energy credits from a qualified biomass energy facility if the associated industrial pulping or wood manufacturing facility ceases operation other than for purposes of maintenance or upgrade.
(k))) (l) An industrial facility that hosts a qualified biomass
energy facility may only transfer or sell renewable energy credits
associated with its facility to the qualifying utility with which it is
directly interconnected with facilities owned by such a qualifying
utility and that are capable of carrying electricity at transmission
voltage. The qualifying utility may only use an amount of renewable
energy credits associated with qualified biomass energy that are
equivalent to the proportionate amount of its annual targets under
(a)(ii) and (iii) of this subsection that was created by the load of
the industrial facility. A qualifying utility that owns a qualified
biomass energy facility may not transfer or sell renewable energy
credits associated with qualified biomass energy to another person,
entity, or qualifying utility.
(m) A qualifying utility may choose to make investments in low-income energy assistance instead of investing in renewable energy credits to comply with a target in this subsection (2), provided that the amount of the investment replacing investments in renewable energy credits may not exceed the amount equal to:
(i) One percent of the cost of meeting its load in any target year through December 31, 2015;
(ii) Three percent of the cost of meeting its load in any target year from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2019; and
(iii) Five percent of the cost of meeting its load in any target year beginning January 1, 2020, and thereafter.
(3) Utilities that become qualifying utilities after December 31, 2006, shall meet the requirements in this section on a time frame comparable in length to that provided for qualifying utilities as of December 7, 2006.
(4) Pursuant to the procedures in chapter 34.05 RCW, the department shall develop and periodically update the methodologies used to identify cost-effective conservation potential required under subsection (1) of this section. In its deliberations, the department may consider the methodologies used in the most recently published regional power plan developed by the Pacific Northwest electric power and conservation planning council.
Sec. 4 RCW 19.285.050 and 2007 c 1 s 5 are each amended to read
(1)(a) A qualifying utility shall be considered in compliance with an annual target created in RCW 19.285.040(2) for a given year if the utility invested four percent of its total annual retail revenue requirement on the incremental costs of eligible renewable resources, the cost of renewable energy credits, increased low-income energy assistance as provided under subsection (3) of this section, or ((
combination of both)) any combination of such investments, but a
utility may elect to invest more than this amount.
(b) The incremental cost of an eligible renewable resource is calculated as the difference between the levelized delivered cost of the eligible renewable resource, regardless of ownership, compared to the levelized delivered cost of an equivalent amount of reasonably available substitute resources that do not qualify as eligible renewable resources, where the resources being compared have the same contract length or facility life.
(2) An investor-owned utility is entitled to recover all prudently incurred costs associated with compliance with this chapter. The commission shall address cost recovery issues of qualifying utilities that are investor-owned utilities that serve both in Washington and in other states in complying with this chapter.
(3) A utility may count the amount of annual investments in low-income energy assistance under subsection (1) of this section that exceed the average annual amount of these investments by the utility in calendar years 2009 through 2013. The utility may not count any low-income investments that are counted under RCW 19.285.040 (1) or (2).