Senate Bill 5648 did not make it past the Senate floor before the deadline and is considered "dead" for the 2013 session. A special thank you to Senators Sharon Brown and Doug Ericksen for their hard work on the bill. Both senators vow to continue the fight on the Don't Buy Before Need issue throughout the summer. A round of applause is also needed for all of our supporters! Without your help, we would have not made the progress we did during this session.
Coming soon to a city near you: Higher energy rates!
Senate Bill 5648 introduced to protect ratepayers
New 8th District Senator Sharon Brown sponsored and introduced Senate Bill 5648 in early February, which protects utilities from buying power before need and to protect customers from rate increases. The bill is a win-win solution for Washington State and ratepayers. The bill provides two changes:
Senate Energy Committee hearing on Senate Bill 5648
The reality of higher energy rates
As a Washington state electric ratepayer, you will soon feel the pinch from Initiative 937’s unintended consequences. Originally passed in 2006, I-937 (Energy Independence Act) was intended to increase energy conservation and renewable energy resources. While steps in conservation were made, utility companies across the state are now required to purchase eligible renewable power (or equivalent credits) even if they don’t need it - in many cases displacing clean, renewable hydropower and disincentivising energy conservation.
These mandates are more restrictive than those in neighboring states, putting Washington at a competitive disadvantage in an already tight economy.
What does this mean for you, the ratepayer?
Requiring utilities to purchase unneeded power is a costly investment. With Washington utilities being forced to buy unneeded power in order to meet renewable energy requirements (3% in 2012, 9% in 2016, and 15% in 2020), they have no choice but to pass these higher costs, onto you, their customer.
What are we calling for?
We are asking our legislators to amend the section of the Energy Independence Act that requires Washington utilities to buy renewable resources they don't need. We must protect consumer rates!
Tom Mackay, AgriNorthwest CFO talks about the impacts higher energy rates have on his business and farmers around the area.
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If you are having trouble viewing the petition above, you can sign it by visiting our petition website.
Donate to P.O.W.E.R.
If you are interested in donating to the efforts of Citizens for P.O.W.E.R., please contact the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce via phone at 509-736-0510 or by email.
In our View: Greens versus the Poor, The Columbian, Feb. 25, 2013
State's costly renewable-energy rules in crosshairs as Senate committee passes 'Don't Buy Before Need' bill, Washington State Wire, Feb. 21, 2013
New State Senator from Tri-Cities proposes renewable energy bill, Tri-City Herald, Feb. 13, 2013
Proposed Energy Conservation Bill Could Create Big Savings, KNDU-TV, Feb. 12, 2013
Regional Chamber led Coalition takes efforts to Olympia, Feb. 11, 2013
Windpower purchasing rules spark another fight in Olympia - Green groups balk at changes, Washington State Wire, Feb. 7, 2013
The cost of too much wind rises, Wenatchee World, Dec. 29, 2012
Subsidizing BIG WIND: The real costs to taxpayers, Manhattan Institute, Oct. 25, 2012
Thanks to the groups that work to better the Tri-Cities, Tri-City Herald, Oct. 4, 2012
Mid-Columbia group forms to fight higher electric bills from unneeded power, Tri-City Herald, Sept. 28, 2012
Tri-Cities Chamber leads effort to stop unnecessary electricity rate increases, The 9th Order, Sept. 28, 2012
Coalition aims to keep energy bills down, KNDU-TV, Sept. 27, 2012
Organization trying to reduce energy costs, KVEW-TV, Sept. 27, 2012
Citizens for P.O.W.E.R. set to spark change in Olympia, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce Press Release - Sept. 27, 2012
Just the facts:
Cowlitz PUD to increase electric rates – The Reflector, November 2, 2011
"The Cowlitz PUD Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Oct. 25 to adopt a 17.5 percent average rate increase, beginning with electric bills sent on Nov. 1….Several factors are driving the increase, most notably $11 million in reduced sales of surplus wind power in 2012."
Celebrate the new year with higher power bills – Tri-City Herald, November 8, 2011
…Benton PUD’s rates will increase an average of six percent effective January 1, 2012…
"Over the past few years, Benton PUD has invested over $11 million in Nine Canyon and White Creek Wind projects to be prepared for the first renewable requirement in 2012. In addition, Benton PUD will spend nearly $3 million on wind resources in 2012."
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If you would like to learn more about the Citizens for P.O.W.E.R. Coalition or if you have further questions, please contact us via email.
Rotating photos courtesy of iPage and the Citizens for P.O.W.E.R. Coalition