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UTC staff reach partial settlement on Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct program

Media Contact: media@utc.wa.gov or 360-664-1125 

Docket Numbers: UE-220066, UG-220067 

Editor’s Note: This news release reflects the position of staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) and NOT the views of the three-member commission. It discusses a settlement agreement that the commissioners have not yet reviewed. Any positions taken or comments offered by UTC staff regarding this proceeding should be attributed clearly to staff members and NOT to the UTC.  

UTC staff reach partial settlement on Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct program 

Proposed agreement resolves single issue in PSE rate increase request 

Lacey, Wash. – Recently Utilities and Transportation Commission staff announced a partial multi-party settlement in Puget Sound Energy’s current rate increase request, specifically addressing PSE’s Green Direct program. 

The settlement is subject to approval by the three-member commission, who have not yet reviewed the agreement. 

PSE’s Green Direct program allows corporate and governmental customers — like cities or counties — to voluntarily purchase 100% of their energy from dedicated local and renewable energy sources.  This agreement allows PSE to offer Green Direct customers access to clean energy without shifting costs to other PSE ratepayers and receive an energy credit. 

The settlement sets the Green Direct energy charge credit rate and allows PSE to recover the costs associated with the charge credit.  

The settlement also addresses the recovery of administrative program costs to manage the Green Direct program and how PSE will allocate monetary damages received from operational delays to the Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project. 

The agreement does not make any changes to the Green Direct energy charge, or to the program’s cost and benefit tracking. 

The settlement does not address or resolve any other issues in PSE’s current rate request. 

The UTC will be holding a public comment hearing on Sept. 28 to discuss all of the issues in PSE’s rate case, including the Green Direct settlement. 

The commission will complete its review of the company’s request and any related settlements by Dec. 31. 

BACKGROUND 

In January 2022, PSE filed a request to update its current rates and services, including the Green Direct energy charge credit issue identified in previous PSE cases. 

The UTC previously reviewed PSE’s Green Direct program in 2019 and 2020. In 2020, the commission approved a settlement agreement that addressed issues related to Green Direct, and in its final order noted that PSE should discuss how to calculate the energy credit charge with Green Direct customers and report back to the commission.  

Settling parties include UTC staff, Puget Sound Energy, the Public Counsel Unit of the Office of the Attorney General who represent utility customers, and Green Direct customers King County and Walmart, Inc. 

Other parties to PSE’s rate case who neither joined nor opposed the settlement include: Alliance of Western Energy Consumers, The Energy Project, Northwest Energy Coalition, Front & Centered, Sierra Club, Federal Executive Agencies, and Kroger. 

Bellevue-based PSE provides electricity service to more than 1.1 million electric customers in eight Washington counties: Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Thurston, and Whatcom. PSE also provides natural gas service to more than 800,000 customers in six Washington counties: King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston.  

The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.  

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Editor’s note: The proposed settlement agreement and all other related documents are available in the docket search at www.utc.wa.gov.  

Topic(s)
Consumer
Energy
General