POLICY: Carbon-Free PSE

PSE’s 2021 20-Year Plan
Every two years, each of Washington’s for-profit utilities must file a 20-year energy plan with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. That “Integrated Resource Plan,” or IRP, outlines how the utility will bring energy to its customers.

The largest utility in our state is Puget Sound Energy and currently 60% of their electricity comes from fossil fuels.

Planning process
Due to the passage of the Clean Energy Transformation Act in 2019, PSE was allowed to suspend its 2019 planning process. During the COVID-19 pandemic PSE is conducting its 2021 planning process online.

Notably, after years of lobbying by technical stakeholders for more collaborative interaction, PSE has adopted the International Association for Public Participation’s guidelines for public engagement. Here’s how PSE describes their approach.

A full schedule, and meeting materials, are posted here as they become available.

The road ahead
The Clean Energy Transformation Act requires PSE to decarbonize. Will they act responsibly or drag their feet? Thanks to their lobbying efforts, cost caps are included in the Clean Energy Transformation Act. Will they attempt to game the system by reclassifying current conservation practices as compliance measures? Will they overestimate the costs of renewables and new transmission? How will they incorporate the Social Cost of Carbon, now required by law?

Citizen participation in their planning process is more important, and potentially impactful, than ever.

For years, PSE’s long-range planning has fallen short of the climate goals necessary for our long-term survival. Their for-profit business model is based on getting state approval for big capital projects and earning a guaranteed rate of return on their investment, not, as their expert greenwashing would have us believe, providing renewable energy.

Your participation is needed to ensure that PSE plans for a future we can live in.

To get involved, contact David.