WA Climate Legislation Implementation
Following passage of important climate legislation in the 2019 session of the Washington legislature, many rulemakings are now underway to implement the intent of that legislation. Rulemaking for most new bills will conclude in 2020, while others will extend into 2021 or further. This page will be updated as new proceedings or dockets arise and as rulemakings complete.
Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA, or implementing SB 5116)
As our digest highlights, there are many components to CETA. Consequently, there will be multiple rulemakings, across multiple state agencies. NW Energy Coalition staff are deeply involved in the Commerce and UTC rulemakings; plan to provide expert guidance and advocacy in the Ecology rulemaking; and will observe the Department of Health and Labor & Industries (LNI) rulemakings to provide advice where needed. If you have any questions, contact Joni Bosh at email@example.com.
The Department of Commerce is leading on developing rules for consumer owned utilities, and will co-lead on specific items with other state agencies. More information on upcoming meetings and workshops is available on the website, as well as many documents and stakeholder comments to date. There is also a sign-up on the right-hand side of the linked page if you want to be kept directly informed of upcoming meetings and comment. We submitted comments on September 14, 2020.
Commerce has also released an equity guidance document for which they are requesting comments. The next step will be to try to include best practices for indicator development.
The low-income program survey tool was posted at the end of July. Responses are due by November 13, 2020.
The Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) will lead development of rules for investor owned utilities and will co-lead some rulemakings and processes that apply to all utilities with the Department of Commerce. At this time, there are five particularly relevant UTC dockets associated with CETA requirements:
- U-190485 provides an overall approach and timeline for how the UTC will approach the rulemaking needs of CETA.
- UE-190652 is a rulemaking related to aligning the requirements of the Energy Independence Act with the requirements of CETA. A final hearing on these rules is scheduled for Oct 1.
- UE-190698 is a rulemaking related to amending the integrated resource planning (IRP) process to align with CETA requirements. This docket has been consolidated into UE-191023, to jointly discuss the IRP rulemaking with the Clean Energy Implementation Plan (CEIP) rulemaking. We submitted comments on the rules and redlined rules on Sept 11th.
- UE-190760 is a coordinated discussion docket with Commerce on a Carbon and Electricity Markets Workgroup. The last meeting was September 16, 2019.
- UE-190837 is a rulemaking related to amending Purchases of Electricity rules in light of CETA and other changes in the electricity market place. We submitted comments on the draft rules September 14, 2020.
If you are interested in being on the service list for a particular docket, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request to be added to the service list and reference the docket number. There is also a weekly bulletin that the UTC sends out on CETA rulemaking. Sign up here.
The Department of Health will develop a cumulative impact analysis (CIA) of the impacts of both climate change and fossil fuels on population health, in order to designate highly impacted communities. Some of the data from this CIA will then be used to inform electric utilities’ plans toward meeting the requirements of CETA. Interested parties can sign up on the mailing list here. The last meeting in this docket was July 28, 2020. The structure and first report of the CIA is due by December 31, 2020.
The Department of Ecology will lead the rulemaking associated with identifying what activities or measures as clean energy transformation projects, which can be used for compliance with some CETA requirements between 2030 and 2045. Ecology will also coordinate with Commerce on identifying the greenhouse gas emission factors associated with electricity. To keep updated on this rulemaking, you can sign up here. The final draft rule is posted. The public hearing is October 6, and written comments are due October 14, 2020.
The Department of Labor and Industries (LNI) conducted emergency rulemakings associated with the labor standard preferences for renewable project tax exemptions. A standard rulemaking will be started to implement permanent rules. Contact Beverly Clark at Beverly.Clark@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-6272 to be included on a notification list.
Clean Buildings Act (implementing HB 1257)
The Clean Buildings Act, as our digest elaborates on, contains four main policies: a building performance standard, gas utility conservation standards, gas utility renewable natural gas requirements, and electric vehicle readiness in new buildings. NW Energy Coalition staff will engage in many of these rulemakings. Contact Amy Wheeless at email@example.com for any questions.
- The law directs the Department of Commerceto develop building performance standards for large (> 50,000 square feet) existing commercial buildings by November 2020. A final draft rule was issued and a public hearing will be held September 22; written comment is on the same day. More information is on Commerce’s website, and interested parties can sign up on the right-hand side of the linked website for email updates, or review stakeholder comments.
- The UTC will lead rulemaking associated with the gas conservation standards, but will not start this process until sometime later in 2020 or early 2021.
- The UTC will also coordinate any process or needed rulemaking around the use of renewable natural gas. Docket U-190818is open to have these discussions.
- The State Building Code Councilwill be where the rulemaking associated with electric vehicle readiness requirements in new buildings will happen. There is not currently a rulemaking document.
Appliance Efficiency Standards (implementing HB 1444)
The Department of Commerce is managing the rulemaking that will set 17 state efficiency standards in law and provide a requirement for electric storage water heaters to be enabled with a grid-ready technology. Final rules for many of these products were issued in late 2019, and Commerce continues work to issue regulatory advice and finalize other standards. You can sign-up on the right-hand side of the page for any updates. The NW Energy Coalition is involved in this rulemaking; contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
For any other questions about energy or climate bills that passed in 2019 and the implementation schedule of them, reach out to Amy Wheeless (email@example.com) and she will try and find you the answer.
We couldn’t participate in all of these proceedings without support; if you are able to support our work, please do so today and consider becoming a member if you aren’t already.