Approved by voters in 2006, the Energy Independence Act (EIA), also known as I-937, requires qualifying electric utilities to meet targets for energy conservation and for using eligible renewable resources. Qualifying utilities are electric utilities with 25,000 or more customers in the state, and there are 18 utilities subject to the EIA.
Qualifying utilities must pursue all conservation that is cost-effective, reliable, and feasible. They need to identify the conservation potential over a 10-year period and set two-year targets.
For investor-owned utilities, the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UT) determines compliance with the EIA. For all other utilities, the auditor is responsible for auditing compliance with the EIA. Utilities that fail to comply with energy conservation or renewable energy targets owe an administrative penalty for each megawatt-hour of shortfall of $50, adjusted annually for inflation. Utilities that do not meet an annual renewable energy target are exempt from administrative penalties under certain circumstances.
A qualifying utility is considered in compliance with its biennial acquisition target for cost-effective conservation if events beyond the reasonable control of the utility that could not have been reasonably anticipated or ameliorated prevented it from meeting the target. These events include:
A qualifying utility that did not meet a biennial conservation target is exempt from the administrative penalty if the UTC or the auditor determines the utility did not meet the target due to events beyond its reasonable control.