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Published on March 17th, 2014 | by Roy L Hales


Utilities Try To Harness Net Metering In Washington State

March 17th, 2014 by  

Originally published on the ECOreport.


The latest attempt to curtail net metering just occurred in Washington state. If HB 2176 had passed, utilities companies would have been able to obtain control of  “leased energy” programs. Only the bill has been returned to committee, which, as this session is over, means it is dead.

A passage in HB 2176 states, “If an electric utility offers a leased energy program, no other entity may offer leases to the utility’s customers.”

The utilities made a total of $400, 588 in campaign contributions during the last election. Most of that came from PacifiCorp ($216,850) and Puget Sound Energy ($123,200), both of which are members of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), an association that represents all US investor-owned electric companies.

EEI recently published a booklet which identified “Distributed energy resources (DER) as (p 4) the largest near-term threat to the utility model.” (The best known DER is rooftop solar.)

EEI has also been active in the attempt to defame the rooftop solar industry through attack ads in both Colorado and Arizona.

The American Legislature Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that Mother Jones called “one of the nation’s most powerful—and least known—corporate lobbies” is believed to be closely allied to EEI.

The American Legislature Exchange Council (ALEC) attempts to work through state lawmakers. Its model legislation to roll back renewable portfolio standards can be traced to bills in 13 states.

Both PacifiCorp and its parent company, MidAmerican, were members of ALEC up until recently.

PV at sunset in January 2014

PV at sunset in January 2014

Jeffrey Morris, the author of HB 2176, received contributions from PacifiCorp, Puget Sound Energy, BP North America, and a number of gas companies.

PacifiCorp and Puget Sound Energy obtain a substantial proportion of their derived energy (79% and 48%, respectively) from natural gas and coal.

The oil and gas sector contributed $489,764 in the last election.

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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

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