Utilities in Washington

This page is designed to give you information about Washington utilities, their solar programs, news and more. We will continue to update this page as information becomes available.

What is the Source of Washington’s Electricity?

Sources of Washington’s electricity include hydro (dams), coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, biomass (ag products, landfill gas, municipal solid waste and sludge waste), other gas (blast furnace gas, and other manufactured and waste gas from fossil fuel), petroleum, geothermal, solar and other (chemicals, sulfur, tire derived fuels and misc. (Technologies are listed in order of most to least produced.) Each utility reports its fuel mix to the public and/or their consumers, usually on their webpages. Search your utility’s webpage to learn more about where YOUR electric power comes from.

Utilities receive electricity via these public agencies: Energy Northwest, US Bureau of Reclamation, City of Seattle, PUD 1 and 2, TransAlta Centralia and US Army Corp of Engineers as operators.

Recent rules adopted by the state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission to implement parts of the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) requires the state’s electric utilities to eliminate coal-fired electricity by 2026, transition to a carbon-neutral supply by 2030, and source 100% of their electricity from renewable or non-carbon-emitting sources by 2045.

Bonneville Power Administration is a nonprofit federal power marketing administration. Although BPA is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, it is self-funded. BPA markets wholesale electrical power from 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the Northwest, one nonfederal nuclear plant and several small nonfederal power plants. The dams are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. The nonfederal nuclear plant, Columbia Generating Station, is owned and operated by Energy Northwest, a joint operating agency of the state of Washington. BPA provides about 28 percent of the electric power used in the Northwest. BPA also operates and maintains about three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission lines in its service territory of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, western Montana and small parts of eastern Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA also funds regional efforts to protect and rebuild fish and wildlife populations affected by hydropower development in the Columbia River Basin.

Washington utilities

The state of Washington has roughly 60 utilities most of which are publicly owned and some of which are privately owned. Your utility provides a wealth of information and services including net metering services, energy efficiency rebates, ways to reduce energy consumption to save money, adding electric vehicle charging to your home or business and more. Each utility reports its sources of electricity (ie fuel mix) to its consumers, usually through its website. Check with your utility concerning its participation in the RESIP program and other services affecting solar customers. 

The map shows the regional jurisdictions of each electric utility in Washington and is color-coded by type of utility.

Click map to view full PDF version


Utility Oversight & Regulation

For-profit investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are regulated by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission which invites your public comment on any matter that comes before them. For more information, visit the Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission (UTC). Washington State has three IOUs. They are Puget Sound Energy, Avista and Pacific Power.

The remainder of Washington electric utilities are operated by:

  • Municipalities (Seattle, Tacoma, Ellensburg and others)
  • Public Utility Districts (PUDs)
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • Tribes
  • Federal Government (Hanford)

As public entities, PUDs, co-ops, municipal utilities are each governed by their own elected commissioners and/or city council. Their meetings are open to the public and public input is encouraged. You can find details about commissioner meetings on their respective websites (see list below). The governing body for each utility must approve rate increases (increases in the cost of electricity to consumers) as well as solar investment plans and policies related to residential and commercial solar installations.

Statewide Utility Associations

Washington PUD Association
The Washington Public Utility Districts Association (WPUDA) was formed in 1936. It represents 27 nonprofit, community-owned utilities that provide electricity, water and wastewater services, and wholesale telecommunications to more almost one-million residential, business, and industrial customers in communities across the State of Washington.

Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association
The Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association (WRECA) represents approximately 20 small mutual electric companies and rural electric cooperatives throughout Washington. WRECA's members use either the “cooperative” or “mutual” business model, which means that they serve their customers on a non-profit basis. The rural and small utilities we represent play a critical role in supporting the agriculture industry in Washington by providing electric service at cost to two-thirds of all farmland in Washington.

Utility Scale Solar Installations in WA

  • White Bluffs – 38.7 KW, jointly operated by Energy Northwest and Bonneville Power Association, built in 2002, 10 miles north of Richland
  • Wild Horse – 50.2 KW, 2723 solar panels, in Kittitas County 16 miles east of Ellensburg, also operates 273 MW of wind turbines and features a visitor center.
  • City of Ellensburg Community Renewable Park – 112 KW of wind + solar


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