Below is a synopsis of bills that were introduced during the 2019 session with direct or indirect solar implications as well as addressing overall state energy policy.
Visit the Washington State Legislature website for additional information and resources about our state government, House and Senate members and committees, legislation under consideration, and more.
Skip to the bottom of the page for information on other state and federal government agencies involved in energy related initiatives and deployment.
From the 2019 Legislative Session
*Indicates signed into law
BILLS ORIGINATING IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HB 1113: Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science and with the United States' commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement; Link to bill; Did not pass House
*HB 1126: Enabling electric utilities to prepare for the distributed energy future; Passed House & Senate; Signed by Governor; View session law
HB 1129: Customer-sited electricity; Link to bill, Did not pass House
HB 1211: Supporting Washington's clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future; Link to bill. Did not pass House. (Companion to SB 5116); Senate Companion Bill passed House and Senate; Signed by Governor
HB 1226: Encouraging investment in and reducing the costs of transitioning to the clean energy future; Link to bill, Did not pass House
HB 1232: Recognizing hydroelectricity as an eligible renewable resource in the energy independence act; Link to bill, Did not pass House
*HB 1512: Concerning the electrification of transportation; Passed House & Senate; Signed by Governor; View session law
BILLS ORIGINATING IN THE SENATE
*SB 5116: Supporting Washington's clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future; Passed Senate & House; Signed by Governor; View session law (Companion to HB 1211)
SB 5118: Relating to the right to consume self-generated electricity; Link to bill. Did not pass Senate.
SB 5347: Concerning claims about climate change made by electric utilities; Link to bill. Did not pass Senate.
SB 5555: Ensuring that components of solar energy systems are produced in the United States or according to Washington state environmental standards; Link to bill. Did not pass Senate.
SB 5629: Promoting small modular reactors in Washington; Link to bill. Did not pass Senate.
LEGISLATION ON THE BOOKS
SB 5939 (Signed by Governor Jay Inslee on June 30, 2017): Promoting a sustainable, local renewable energy industry through modifying renewable energy system tax incentives and providing guidance for renewable energy system component recycling. Link to bill.
Energy Independence Act (EIA or I-937): The Energy Independence Act requires electric utilities serving at least 25,000 retail customers to use renewable energy and energy conservation. Link to the Act. Link to Department of Commerce overview.
Key Committees in the House
- House Appropriations Committee
- House Capital Budget Committee
- House Environment & Energy Committee (Energy related bills which formerly went through the House Technology & Economic Development Committee now will to through the newly reconfigured House Environment & Energy Committee.)
- House Finance Committee
- House Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee
Key Committees in the Senate
- Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee
- Senate Trade & Economic Development Committee
- Senate Ways & Means Committee
Many hearings are available for viewing live or archived on TVW.org.
Other state governmental agencies
The website of Governor Jay Inslee provides an overview of the Governor's energy policy and proposals including a proposed 2019–21 biennial budget makes significant investments in clean energy. Inslee's budget invests in clean electricity, buildings and transportation. Click for more information. Read about Governor Inslee's proposal to fight climate change (from December 2018).
Governor Inslee delivered the annual State of the State address in which he addresses, among other things, climate change as well as clean energy technology successes and advancements. Forward ahead to approximately the 32:40 mark. Click to watch from TVW.
The Department of Commerce is the one agency in state government that touches every aspect of community and economic development: planning, infrastructure, energy, public facilities, housing, public safety and crime victims, international trade, business services and more. DoC works with local governments, businesses and civic leaders throughout the state to strengthen communities so all residents may thrive and prosper. Click to view DoC's Energy page on their website.
Representatives from the Department of Commerce recently gave an Energy 101 presentation to the House Environment & Energy Committee. Click to view slides from the presentation. (Slide file presented courtesy the Department of Commerce.). Click to view a video presentation in front of the House Environment and Energy Committee (from January 21, 2019).
The 2019 Biennial Department of Commerce Energy Report provides the governor and legislature an analysis of energy issues affecting Washington residents and businesses, along with an update on recommendations made in the last state energy strategy. Click to read the report.
The State of Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC or Council) provides a "one-stop" siting process for major energy facilities in the State of Washington. EFSEC coordinates all evaluation and licensing steps for siting certain energy facilities in Washington including solar. Click for more information.
The Washington State Building Code Council was created to advise the Legislature on building code issues and to develop the building codes used in Washington state. These codes help to ensure buildings and facilities constructed in the state are safe and healthy for building occupants, accessible to persons with disabilities and the elderly, and energy efficient. Though no longer active, the SBCC's Solar Technical Advisory Group met a few years ago to discuss issues and procedures relating to solar PV. Click for details.
Make your voice heard
During the legislative session, you can call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to talk with a live operator and urge your Senator and two Representatives to vote for or against any bill. Bill description, status and votes are updated regularly. You can also find your Senator and Representatives and see a map of your district. Or, you can also find lists of all Senators and Representatives as well as Committee Lists.
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a cabinet-level department of the United States Government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation's nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production. Click for the DoE's main homepage.
DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
The DoE's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy's mission is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy. Click for the EERE's homepage.
DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office
The EERE's Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development in the technology areas of photovoltaics, concentrating solar-thermal power, and systems integration with the goal of improving the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Click for more information.
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