Ann Rendahl is a Commissioner at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
In discussions with ten Commissioners from every end of the country, PUF's Paul Kjellander in late July asked about what's driving the energy transition in their states, their state's policies, barriers for the transition to overcome, and risks, also the role of consumer-owned energy.
PUF's Paul Kjellander: What are the primary reasons driving the energy transition for the utilities in the State of Washington?
Commissioner Ann Rendahl: There are several. First, I want to make clear that in the State of Washington, the Commission only regulates three of sixty-four electric utilities and four investor-owned gas utilities. There are sixty-one consumer-owned utilities, municipal cooperatives, and public utility districts that we don't regulate.
Second, the legislature creates policy and requirements for all the electric utilities. Washington has been a leader in passing clean energy and climate legislation. The legislature has enacted a number of requirements that both gas and electric utilities need to follow.
From the early 2000s, the citizens passed an initiative, the Energy Independence Act, which is Washington's renewable portfolio standard and conservation standard. In 2019, the legislature passed the Clean Energy Transformation Act. In 2021, the legislature passed the cap-and-invest statute, the Climate Commitment Act.