It would be a violation of Article VIII, § 7 of the state constitution for a municipal utility or public utility district to advance funds to its customers in order to enable them to purchase conservation materials notwithstanding a projected resulting benefit to utility customers, generally.
1. By removing property qualification as a condition to voting in conservation elections, in Laws of 1999, ch. 305, the Legislature automatically made conservation districts subject to the general election laws codified in RCW Title 29. 2. One effect of Laws of 1999, ch. 305, was to transfer responsibility for conducting conservation district supervisor elections from the districts themselves to the county auditors; this change does not constitute a “new program” or “increased level” of service entitling either the district or the county under RCW 43.135.060 to reimbursement from the state for the expenses of conducting such elections.
- The reference to the “most recently published regional power plan” in RCW 19.285.040(1)(a), which was enacted as part of Initiative Measure 937, refers to the Pacific Northwest Electric Power And Conservation Planning Council power plan in existence at the time the statute was enacted.
- The term “methodologies” in RCW 19.285.040(1)(a) means a set of methods or procedures employed in the solution of a problem.
- The phrase “conservation calculator” in WAC 194-37-070 refers not only to the calculator employed in the power plan in existence at the time RCW 19.285.040 was enacted, but also refers to calculators based on the most recently published power plan.
- RCW 19.285.040(1)(b) requires a consumer-owned utility to review and update its achievable cost-effective conservation potential every two years, including any necessary update to biennial targets based on new information.
1. Article VIII, section 10 of the Washington Constitution and RCW 54.16.280 do not authorize public utility districts to finance projects that involve the installation or operation of pellet stoves, solar power systems, wind turbines, geothermal energy systems, or mini-hydroelectric systems on private property, for the reason that these projects would involve conversion from one energy source to another.
(1) The provisions of Article VIII, § 7 of the Washington Constitution prohibit a city or public utility district from assisting its utility customers, generally, in the purchase of such conservation materials as insulation or storm windows from private suppliers by providing to the seller a guarantee of payment of part or all of the agreed upon purchase price for the conservation materials involved. (2) The same provisions of Article VIII, § 7 of the Washington Constitution, however, do not prohibit a city or public utility district from itself purchasing and then later selling such conservation materials to its customers, generally, by means of installment contracts under which payment of the purchase price, plus a service charge, would be made by the purchasers on a periodic basis over a specified period of time.