2019 Energy Legislation
In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed a set of bills setting an ambitious, multi-decade agenda that changes how electric and natural gas utilities acquire resources and provide energy services to Washington businesses and consumers. Among the 11 bills was the passage of Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5116, known as the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), which requires Washington's electric utilities to eliminate carbon emissions from their energy resources by 2045.
CETA: A Brief Overview
CETA requires the state's electric utilities to fully transition to clean, renewable and non-emitting resources by 2045. Washington's investor-owned utilities (IOUs) must develop and implement plans.
The act sets the following mandatory targets:
- 2025 – All electric utilities must eliminate coal-fired generation serving Washington state customers.
- 2030 – All electric utilities must be greenhouse gas neutral—for example, remaining carbon emissions are offset by renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon reduction project investments, or payments funding low-income assistance.
- 2045 – All electric utilities must generate 100% of their power from renewable or zero-carbon resources.
The act contains provisions to ensure electric service reliability by allowing the UTC to temporarily relieve a utility of its greenhouse gas reduction obligation if the electric grid's reliability or safety is compromised. The act also contains safeguards for consumers to prevent electric bills from rapidly increasing as a result of the utilities' transition to clean energy resources. The UTC will review the utilities' financial plans for reducing and eliminating emissions from electric generation resources through the established rate case process.
Agencies and Interested Parties
The implementation of this package of energy legislation requires multiple state agencies to coordinate their rules and develop mutually supportive timelines for implementation. Those agencies include the state departments of Commerce, Ecology, Health, and Natural Resources. The UTC also expects interested parties to provide comments on how to best implement the new laws.
How to Participate
To stay informed about upcoming events and how to participate, subscribe to our Clean Energy Bulletin.
Tell Us What You Think
Voice your opinion on Washington state's transition to 100% clean energy by participating in the proceedings above. You can file a comment in UTC rulemakings online.
The commission is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to participants with disabilities at its facilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for these workshops or meetings, please contact the commission at least one business day prior to the event by calling 1-360-664-1132 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For TTY service, please call the Washington Relay Service at 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.