Rep. Alex Ybarra’s energy bill approved unanimously by state House and Senate

Rep. Alex Ybarra’s energy bill, House Bill 1948, received unanimous approval in the state Senate. Enjoying bipartisan support in both chambers, the bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk for signature.

HB 1948 deals with renewable energy policy, ensuring that how utility companies measure their electricity usage under the Energy Independence Act does not discourage people from investing in renewable energy. The bill says that when regular customers buy renewable energy from utilities, it won’t add to the total electricity usage, which is used to set renewable energy goals.

Ybarra, R-Quincy, highlighted the importance of his bill, saying, “This measure aims to make more renewable energy resources available on a larger scale. It allows utilities to create voluntary clean energy programs, where they can combine renewable energy credits and retire them for participants. Currently, the Energy Independence Act forces municipal utilities to buy extra renewable energy credits to replace those used by participants. HB 1948 addresses this issue while sticking to the main goals of the Energy Independence Act.”

Additionally, HB 1948 aligns with the Clean Energy Transformation Act, which already contains a similar provision. Ybarra emphasized the importance of this alignment, stating, “Adopting the standards of the Clean Energy Transformation Act will assist utility companies in establishing voluntary renewable programs and will empower customers to purchase more renewable power.”

The 13th District lawmaker also talked about simplifying and avoiding overlapping requirements in different energy acts, including the Energy Independence Act, the Clean Energy Transformation Act, and the Climate Commitment Act. “Some requirements in these acts overlap to some extent, and we want to avoid that,” he noted.

The 2024 legislative session is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, March 7.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov