Electric utilities are required to offer their customers a voluntary option to buy green power according to state law Alternative Energy Options -RCW 19.29A.090. These green power options are typically sold in kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks for a set price.
Investor-owned utilities in Washington currently purchase renewable energy credits from Bonneville Environmental Foundation for resale to their customers.
What is Green Power?
Green power is electricity generated from renewable energy sources. For Washington's program, green power is restricted to:
- Landfill gas
- Wave or tide
- Gas produced during the treatment of wastewater
- Qualified hydropower energy produced as a result of dam upgrades that improve the survival of migrating fish, or by run-of-the-river or run-of-the-canal facilities that do not obstruct the passage of migrating fish
- Biomass energy based on animal waste
- Solid organic fuels from wood, forest, or field residue
- Dedicated energy crops that do not include wood pieces that have been treated with chemical preservatives such as creosote, pentachlorophenol, or copper-chrome-arsenic.
Growth of These Voluntary Programs Since 2002
The chart above is found in the 2011 Report. The UTC and the Energy Policy group at the state Department of Commerce prepare these annual reports to the legislature on Green Power programs in Washington:
Green Power Rates for UTC-Regulated Utilities
For more information contact Deborah Reynolds, Regulatory Analyst, (360) 664-1255.