The Washington State Legislature convenes for its “short session” on January 11, 2010. Given the state of the budget, most forecasters predict a difficult (OK, brutal) couple of months. While most of the headlines will talk about whose budget ox is getting gored, there will certainly be activity on legislative ideas dealing with energy efficiency. NEEC will once again have its convenient “Bill Tracker” link on the front page of the web site. This tracker will allow users to follow specific legislation in Washington (and Oregon too when it convenes) dealing with energy efficiency. Certain to be on that list are at least two legislative priorities for NEEC in 2010. First, NEEC continues to support a change to the I-937 statute that would allow energy efficiency resources acquired by utilities that are above and beyond the amounts established in their 2 year conservation goals to be used to meet portions of their renewable energy portfolio standard. This change in statute would ensure that the total amount of clean energy acquired under the law does not change, but instead allows utilities the opportunity to meet that clean energy standard using a higher mix of lower cost energy efficiency resources as opposed to more expensive renewable alternatives. A second priority is a bill being sponsored by Rep. Hans Dunshee which provides for a state general obligation bond which would be used to stimulate energy efficiency investments in K-12 schools and other public facilities across the state. NEEC believes that both of these legislative initiatives are good for stimulating greater investment in energy efficiency markets and in making Washington homes, businesses, and industries more cost efficiency and competitive.
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