CETA: Key Roles for the Utilities and Transportation Commission

​The UTC is largely responsible for ensuring IOUs meet CETA requirements. Some of the UTC's key roles include:

  • Ratepayer cost and reliability protections: CETA limits cost increases for consumers due to the effects of the clean energy law to 2% per year. The UTC established these rules in 2020. The UTC is also authorized to temporarily relieve a utility of its emission reduction obligation if the electric grid's reliability or safety is compromised.

  • Low-income support and public interest considerations: The UTC has also developed rules for low-income customer support, the reduction of energy burden for vulnerable populations, and other ways to equitably distribute clean energy benefits to utility customers.

  • Improving wholesale electricity markets: By 2022, the UTC and the Dept. of Commerce will adopt rules for reporting wholesale power transactions to ensure the benefits of clean energy, such as renewable energy credits, are not double-counted between Washington and other states with carbon cap-and-trade programs.

  • Participating in state advisory committees and workgroups: The UTC will participate in a variety of workgroups and advisory committees including:

    • Supporting the Dept. of Commerce in developing CETA effectiveness reports that  include analysis of customer rate impacts and electric grid reliability; 

    • Participating in the Energy Strategy Advisory Committee, which will review CETA's alignment with the state's greenhouse gas reduction targets;

    • Participating in the Energy and Climate Policy Advisory Committee, which will review new and existing energy-related programs; and

    • Participating in a workgroup led by the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council that will review the need for upgraded and new electricity transmission and distribution facilities to deliver power to population centers.

The commission established a plan outlining its full role in CETA implementation.