Washington Energy regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Washington Energy: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Renewable energy:

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Renewable energy portfolio standard: Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 19.285.010 to 19.285.903

Energy conservation

Utility conservation: RCW 19.285.010

Regulatory Agencies

Washington Department of Commerce

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. To date, the federal government's involvement in renewable energy programs has been limited to voluntary programs and providing financial incentives for renewable energy generation. However, Washington state legislation has established a renewable energy portfolio standard and conservation standards.

Administration and enforcement. The Washington Department of Commerce administers and enforces the renewable energy and energy conservation requirements in Washington.

State Requirements


Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard

RCW 19.285.010 to 19.285.903

Washington has passed renewable portfolio standard statutes that require each utility that serves more than 25,000 customers in the state of Washington to use eligible renewable resources or acquire equivalent renewable energy credits, or a combination of both, to meet the following annual targets:

  • 2012: 3 percent
  • 2016: 9 percent
  • 2020: 15 percent

Eligible renewable resources. Renewable resources include the following:

  • Water
  • Wind
  • Solar energy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Landfill gas
  • Wave, ocean, or tidal power
  • Gas from sewage treatment facilities
  • Biodiesel fuel that is not derived from crops raised on land cleared from old growth or first-growth forests where the clearing occurred after December 7, 2006
  • Biomass energy based on animal waste or solid organic ...

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