U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Water Power Program
Washington State Voters Mandate Efficiency and Renewable Energy
November 15, 2006
Voters in Washington State have approved Initiative Measure 937, which
calls for the state's investor-owned utilities to draw on new
renewable energy sources for 15 percent of their electricity supply by
2020. The measure allows utilities to buy renewable energy credits to
help meet the requirement, and gives double credit for smaller,
customer-sited systems, so long as the utility buys the renewable
energy credits for those systems. The renewable power can be produced
from wind, solar, geothermal, or ocean energy, as well as certain types of biomass energy. Hydropower generated from irrigation pipes and canals or from capacity gains achieved by installing more efficient turbines at existing facilities will also qualify. The measure also calls for
utilities to pursue all available energy-saving efforts that are cost-effective, reliable, and feasible, allowing credit for customer-owned
facilities that generate both heat and power. See the full text of the initiative
(PDF 33 KB).
Download Adobe Reader.
The measure passed by a small margin, with the unofficial vote count
showing 51.6 percent of voters in favor. A study by the Union of
Concerned Scientists (UCS) found that the measure would save money for
consumers while bringing economic and environmental benefits to the
state. See the
UCS press release.
Meanwhile, voters in Boulder, Colorado, have approved a ballot issue
adding an extra tax on their electricity bills to fund the city's
Climate Action Plan. The tax will fund programs to increase energy
efficiency and renewable energy use; reduce emissions from motor
vehicles; and take other steps to reduce the city's greenhouse gas
emissions. According to the unofficial vote count, the ballot issue
passed with 60.4 percent of the voters in favor. See the ballot
(PDF 513 KB)
and the election results.