HOUSE BILL 1446
State of Washington
2021 Regular Session
Read first time 02/01/21.Referred to Committee on Environment & Energy.
AN ACT Relating to prohibiting a utility from being assessed a penalty for not meeting its biennial acquisition target for cost-effective conservation in special circumstances outside the utility's control; and amending RCW 19.285.040
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 2019 c 288 s 29 are each amended to read as follows:
(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 the most recently published regional power plan as it existed on June 12, 2014, or a subsequent date as may be provided by the department or the commission by rule, each qualifying utility shall identify its achievable cost-effective conservation potential through 2019. Nothing in the rule adopted under this subsection precludes a qualifying utility from using its utility specific conservation measures, values, and assumptions in identifying its achievable cost-effective conservation potential. 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)(i) Except as provided in (c)(ii) and (iii) of this subsection, beginning on January 1, 2014, cost-effective conservation achieved by a qualifying utility in excess of its biennial acquisition target may be used to help meet the immediately subsequent two biennial acquisition targets, such that no more than twenty percent of any biennial target may be met with excess conservation savings.
(ii) Beginning January 1, 2014, a qualifying utility may use single large facility conservation savings in excess of its biennial target to meet up to an additional five percent of the immediately subsequent two biennial acquisition targets, such that no more than twenty-five percent of any biennial target may be met with excess conservation savings allowed under all of the provisions of this section combined. For the purposes of this subsection (1)(c)(ii), "single large facility conservation savings" means cost-effective conservation savings achieved in a single biennial period at the premises of a single customer of a qualifying utility whose annual electricity consumption prior to the conservation savings exceeded five average megawatts.
(iii) Beginning January 1, 2012, and until December 31, 2017, a qualifying utility with an industrial facility located in a county with a population between ninety-five thousand and one hundred fifteen thousand that is directly interconnected with electricity facilities that are capable of carrying electricity at transmission voltage may use cost-effective conservation from that industrial facility in excess of its biennial acquisition target to help meet the immediately subsequent two biennial acquisition targets, such that no more than twenty-five percent of any biennial target may be met with excess conservation savings allowed under all of the provisions of this section combined.
(d) 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.
(e) A qualifying utility is considered in compliance with its biennial acquisition target for cost-effective conservation in (b) 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 conservation target. These events include natural disasters, public health disasters, severe economic recession, unanticipated loss of significant retail electric load, strikes, lockouts, and actions of a governmental authority that adversely affects the acquisition of cost-effective conservation by the qualifying utility.
(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.
(((f)))(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) of this subsection, each qualifying utility shall use eligible renewable resources or acquire equivalent renewable energy credits, or any combination of them, 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) 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) 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) 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) A qualifying utility may use renewable energy credits to meet the requirements of this section, subject to the limitations of this subsection.
(i) A renewable energy credit from electricity generated by a resource other than freshwater may be used to meet a requirement applicable to the year in which the credit was created, the year before the year in which the credit was created, or the year after the year in which the credit was created.
(ii) A renewable energy credit from electricity generated by freshwater:
(A) May only be used to meet a requirement applicable to the year in which the credit was created; and
(B) Must be acquired by the qualifying utility through ownership of the generation facility or through a transaction that conveyed both the electricity and the nonpower attributes of the electricity.
(iii) A renewable energy credit transferred to an investor-owned utility pursuant to the Bonneville power administration's residential exchange program may not be used by any utility other than the utility receiving the credit from the Bonneville power administration.
(iv) Each renewable energy credit may only be used once to meet the requirements of this section and must be retired using procedures of the renewable energy credit tracking system.
(f) 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) 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) 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) 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)(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 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) An industrial facility that hosts a qualified biomass energy facility may only transfer or sell renewable energy credits associated with qualified biomass energy generated at 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.
(l) Beginning January 1, 2020, a qualifying utility may use eligible renewable resources as identified under RCW 19.285.030
(12) (g) and (h) to meet its compliance obligation under this subsection (2). A qualifying utility may not transfer or sell these eligible renewable resources to another utility for compliance purposes under this chapter.
(m) Beginning January 1, 2030, a qualifying utility is considered to be in compliance with an annual target in (a) of this subsection if the utility uses electricity from: (i) Renewable resources and renewable energy credits as defined in RCW 19.285.030
; and (ii) nonemitting electric generation as defined in RCW 19.405.020
, in an amount equal to one hundred percent of the utility's average annual retail electric load. Nothing in this subsection relieves the requirements of a qualifying utility to comply with subsection (1) of this section.
(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.
and 2015 c 225 s 22 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a qualifying utility that fails to comply with the energy conservation or renewable energy targets established in RCW 19.285.040
shall pay an administrative penalty to the state of Washington in the amount of fifty dollars for each megawatt-hour of shortfall. Beginning in 2007, this penalty shall be adjusted annually according to the rate of change of the inflation indicator, gross domestic product-implicit price deflator, as published by the bureau of economic analysis of the United States department of commerce or its successor.
(2) A qualifying utility that does not meet an annual renewable energy target established in RCW 19.285.040
(2) or biennial acquisition target for cost-effective conservation in RCW 19.285.040(1)
is exempt from the administrative penalty in subsection (1) of this section for that year if the commission for investor-owned utilities or the auditor for all other qualifying utilities determines that the utility complied with RCW 19.285.040 (1)(e) or
(2) (d) or (i) or 19.285.050
(3) A qualifying utility must notify its retail electric customers in published form within three months of incurring a penalty regarding the size of the penalty and the reason it was incurred.
(4) The commission shall determine if an investor-owned utility may recover the cost of this administrative penalty in electric rates, and may consider providing positive incentives for an investor-owned utility to exceed the targets established in RCW 19.285.040
(5) Administrative penalties collected under this chapter shall be deposited into the energy independence act special account which is hereby created. All receipts from administrative penalties collected under this chapter must be deposited into the account. Expenditures from the account may be used only for the purchase of renewable energy credits or for energy conservation projects at public facilities, local government facilities, community colleges, or state universities. The state shall own and retire any renewable energy credits purchased using moneys from the account. Only the director of enterprise services or the director's designee may authorize expenditures from the account. The account is subject to allotment procedures under chapter 43.88
RCW, but an appropriation is not required for expenditures.
(6) For a qualifying utility that is an investor-owned utility, the commission shall determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter and assess penalties for noncompliance as provided in subsection (1) of this section.
(7) For qualifying utilities that are not investor-owned utilities, the auditor is responsible for auditing compliance with this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter that apply to those utilities and the attorney general is responsible for enforcing that compliance.
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