Pacific Power planning innovative changes for 2020

December 13, 2019

How the West generates, delivers and consumes electricity is undergoing a rapid evolution with customers at its center. Today Pacific Power filed a request with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission that calls for an overall rate decrease, and a major rethinking of how we produce, transport and ultimately use electricity to power Washington’s future growth.

Since Pacific Power’s last rate review beginning in 2014, the company has operated prudently and efficiently while making significant new investments to upgrade existing wind power production, acquire new wind and solar generation, build new transmission to get the power where it needs to go, and pioneer a new western energy market to lower customer costs, maximize renewable energy and enhance reliability. That sturdy foundation sets the stage for a dynamic new approach.

“Pacific Power’s top priority is to deliver affordable, safe and reliable electricity while supporting Washington customers’ desire for more renewable generation to power their homes and businesses,” said Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power. “Through both innovation and investment, we’re focused on increasing our renewable generation capacity, expanding our energy grid and making it more resilient and secure. This filing nearly doubles the amount of renewable wind energy serving Washington customers while maintaining affordability and reliability.”

The filing aligns Pacific Power with Washington’s ground-breaking 2019 law, the Clean Energy Transformation Act, which charts a path to 100 percent emission-free electricity by 2045.

In addition to supporting grid resiliency and increasing renewable generation, the rate request includes proposals to:

  • Simplify rates to equitably align costs with use patterns
  • Establish time-of-use pilot programs to provide more options for customers to save energy and money by shifting when they use power
  • Streamline prices for streetlights to allow more Washington communities to keep their streets safe and bright more efficiently

Together, the proposals promote using cleaner energy, continuing a long-standing drive to more efficiency and create greater fairness, transparency and understanding in how people use energy and pay for it.

What’s next?

The Commission will examine Pacific Power’s request and will determine whether the proposal should be accepted as filed, modified, or rejected. If accepted as filed, the rate change would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

The public is invited to comment to the Commission and public meetings will be scheduled for this purpose. The Commission has the authority to set final rates that may be lower or higher than the company’s request, depending on the outcome of its examination.