Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
Conservation is defined as any reduction in energy consumption resulting from increases in the efficiency of energy use, production, or distribution. The Energy Independence Act requires electric utilities to pursue all available conservation that is cost-effective, reliable and feasible. Additionally, the UTC's integrated resource planning rules require electric and natural gas companies to meet customer needs with the right mix of energy supply and conservation resources.
When a utility provides customer incentives for cost-effective conservation this means it is cheaper to help customers save energy and lower system demand than it is to build additional infrastructure or purchase other energy supplies. All customers benefit as a result of these investments.
Utility efforts to conserve energy have contributed to Washington's top ten ranking in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's State Energy Efficiency Scorecard since 2007.
The UTC oversees the conservation services offered by the regulated energy utilities in Washington State: Avista, Cascade Natural Gas, NW Natural, Pacific Power and Puget Sound Energy. Information about the conservation efforts of other Washington utilities is available on the State Energy Office website.
Each of the regulated energy utilities offer incentives to residential, commercial, and industrial customers for energy efficient equipment or operations. These include rebates for lighting, space heating, water heating, insulation, and other appliances. Low-income conservation programs are also available from each utility. For information about low-income bill assistance on your energy bill, visit our energy assistance Web page.
To find out which actions qualify for rebates, visit your utility's energy efficiency website:
The Database for State Incentive for Renewable Energy and Efficiency also contains information on energy efficiency incentives across the state. our consumer energy Web page has suggestions for how to improve the efficiency of your home.
The UTC reviews conservation potential assessments, which are estimates of how much conservation is available in a utility's service territory. UTC staff attend advisory group meetings, and review conservation program designs, targets and budgets. Electric utilities are required to file biennial conservation plans and meet targets for achieving all cost-effective energy conservation. Natural gas conservation programs typically resulted from a general rate case and have similar requirements. Once conservation savings are achieved, UTC staff review annual and biennial reports to ensure cost-effectiveness.
The total amount of savings regulated utilities expect to save in 2019 is roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity it would take to power over 35,000 homes, and the amount of natural gas it would take to supply approximately 7,000 homes.
For additional information on the history of company conservation programs, and saving and spending from prior years, click here.