Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant has enabled UTC staff to undergo in-depth training on smart grid technologies and applications, and has contributed to the agency’s development of a utility smart grid reporting rule, review of utility smart grid investment reports, status updates, and pilot smart grid and demand-response programs.
In order to encourage Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) to consider the value of a “smart grid,” the UTC adopted a rule that requires such utilities to file an annual “smart grid technology report” on smart grid technologies they are considering. Avista, for example, participates in several demonstration projects that test a number of smart grid technologies.
The UTC initiated a work session to consider its role in the development of electric vehicle infrastructure and other regulatory issues relating to electric vehicles in Washington. The work session addressed issues such as whether the resale of electricity at public charging stations ought to be subject to economic regulation, the extent to which existing laws provide protection to consumers who purchase electricity for vehicle recharging, and whether the Commission will need to address additional ratemaking considerations for investor-owned utilities (such as time-of-use tariffs).
The UTC conducted a foundational study funded by the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners to better understand Dynamic Pricing and its applicability to Washington regulated electric utilities. Dynamic Pricing allows changes in the cost of energy to be more transparent, and thus potentially improving overall economic efficiency and reliability of the production and consumption of electricity.