In the substitute bill:
Reference Sec. 2. lines 18 through 29.
It appears from the above that through 2013, less than 25% of 1% of the 1996 peak demand will be incentivized for net billing systems; Thereafter, incentives will be 50% of 1%. Of these minuscule amounts, at least 50% must be reserved for renewable sources.
I have no quarrel with incentives that actually achieve something. This petty incentive system will provide for little more than public relations “feel good” demonstrations, without offering a sincere, market-driven opportunity to entice citizens and domestic firms to first, install the desired energy systems, and second to realistically measure their impact on total consumption.
Total energy (read electricity) demand is in no danger of declining. Offering realistic levels of incentives, not just token demonstration measures, is the only way the State can encourage citizen participation on any kind of a commercially-developable scale.
Drop the “0.25%” and “0.5%” limits. If anything, raise them to 5% and 10% in the short run, larger amounts in the future. If achieved, the numbers would provide additional energy to the state and relieve production pressures for utilities. More importantly, this would help the developing industries that create and install smaller-scale energy plants for use by thousands of smaller firms and private residences across the state.
Encouraging a broader range of potential energy providers builds sustainability in the energy system. It’s one of only a few ways that could help Washington be less dependent on monopolies and concerns that engage in contracts to sell power outside the state.
JR Sloan, Spokane