This page contains listings of proposed legislation, laws on the books and other resources directly and indirectly related to solar energy in the state of Washington. Additional links to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are below.
As an education-focused 501c3 nonprofit organization, Solar Washington’s activities and informational resources serve an array of individuals, businesses and sectors that share an interest in solar energy and its adoption in Washington state. Often these parties do not have unanimous opinions pertaining to legislation under consideration and/or policies being enacted that pertain to solar energy. As a result, Solar Washington endeavors to provide information pertaining to, but will not endorse, any legislation.
The Legislature convened for a Regular Session on January 10, 2022.
- 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.
- Link to legislative agendas, schedules and calendars.
Skip to the bottom of the page for information on other state and federal government agencies involved in energy related initiatives and deployment.
BILLS ORIGINATING IN THE STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
From the 2022 Session
HB 1682: Concerning a compliance pathway specific to emissions-intensive, trade-exposed businesses for achieving their proportionate share of the state's emissions reduction limits through 2050. Link to bill.
HB 1812: Modernizing the energy facility site evaluation council to meet the state's clean energy goals. Link to bill.
HB 1814: Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects. Link to bill.
HB 1871: Establishing a moratorium on the siting of alternative energy facilities through the energy facility site evaluation council process pending a comprehensive performance report on the effects of the energy independence act and the recommendations of a joint legislative committee. Link to bill.
HB 1921: Concerning the valuation of property related to renewable energy for the purposes of property tax and providing for a payment in lieu of taxes for renewable energy facilities. Link to bill.
BILLS ORIGINATING IN THE STATE SENATE
From the 2022 Session
SB 5526: Studying the global availability of lithium and rare earth minerals for battery manufacturing. Link to bill.
SB 5744: Concerning tax deferrals for investment projects in clean technology manufacturing, clean alternative fuels production, and renewable energy storage. Link to bill.
Solar Washington Webinar Presentation-2021 Legislative Session Review
Solar Washington hosted this presentation on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 12:00 noon to provide a review of the climate and energy bills from the 2021 legislative session out of Olympia. The session was hosted by Solar Washington Board Member Sarah Vorpahl who works as a Senior Energy Policy Specialist specializing in distributed energy resources at the Washington State Department of Commerce based in Olympia. Also joining Sarah in the conversation were Austin Scharff, Legislative and Rulemaking Coordinator with the Energy Office at the Department of Commerce, and Michael Breish, the Department of Commerce’s Senior Transportation Policy Specialist. Click to access the webinar recording. (Free to view, but registration required.)
LEGISLATION ON THE BOOKS
On May 7, 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) (E2SSB 5116), which commits Washington to an electricity supply free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Clean electricity will allow the state to replace fossil fuels in other end uses, especially transportation, and achieve its long-term climate goals. The Washington Department of Commerce is a key leader in implementing this law. Working with utilities, other state agencies and multiple stakeholders, Commerce will develop rules, reporting procedures and regular assessments to ensure success. Click to view work group progress and schedule.
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.
United States House of Representatives & Senate
December 17, 2020: (From Release) Rep. Kim Schrier Selected to Serve on Powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Link.
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.
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 state 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.
Support Solar Washington today!
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