Plan sets course for equitable transition to clean energy
SPOKANE, Wash : Avista Utilities, an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA), filed its first Clean Energy Implementation Plan (CEIP) with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) in October 2021. Yesterday, the plan was approved by the WUTC. Avista was the first utility to file a CEIP in the State of Washington and the first investor-owned utility to reach approval.
Avista’s CEIP is a road map of specific actions to be taken over the next four years (2022-2025) to show the progress being made toward clean energy goals established by the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), which was passed by the Washington legislature and enacted into law in 2019. CETA requires electric supply to be greenhouse gas neutral by 2030 and 100% renewable or generated from zero-carbon resources by 2045.
“This plan builds upon our longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Jason Thackston, Avista’s senior vice president of energy resources. “Our own clean energy goals and those set forth in CETA are ambitious, but we are committed to finding a path to get there in a way that balances reliability and affordability. This CEIP includes benchmarks created with customer input that has been invaluable to this process and helps ensure we are benefitting all our customers. Since filing in October, we have worked closely with commission staff and other stakeholders to develop proposed conditions that strengthen the plan.”
In 2019, Avista announced its goal to serve its customers with 100 percent clean electricity by 2045 and to have a carbon-neutral supply of electricity by the end of 2027. More than half of Avista’s current generating potential is clean hydropower, biomass, wind and solar.
The full CEIP is available to view on our website at www.myavista.com/CETA or on the UTC website at www.utc.wa.gov. The CEIP must show customers are benefiting from the transition to clean energy through:
The equitable distribution of energy and non-energy benefits and reduction of burdens to named communities (i.e. communities who are either socially or economically disadvantaged or sensitive to health effects)
Long-term and short-term public health and environmental benefits
Energy security and resiliency
Some highlights of Avista’s approved CEIP include:
- Beginning in 2022, Avista plans to serve 40 percent of its Washington customer demand with renewable energy, then increase this target to 62.5 percent by the end of 2025.
The plan sets energy efficiency targets to reduce customer load by approximately 2% over the next four years by savings 204,305 megawatt hours through incentives and programs to lower energy use without impacting the customer.
- The plan includes a set of Customer Benefit Indicators (CBIs) to ensure the equitable distribution of energy and non-energy benefits and reduction of burden to all customers and named communities. The CBIs were developed in coordination with Avista’s Equity Advisory Group, existing advisory groups, interested stakeholders and customers.
- There are a total of 14 CBIs and 30 metrics to track equitable distribution of benefits.
- Avista’s Named Communities Investment Fund was approved and will invest up to $5 million annually in projects, programs, and initiatives that directly benefit customers residing in historically disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
Next Thursday, June 23, from 5-6 p.m., Avista will hold an open public meeting to discuss the approved CEIP and next steps in the public participation process. The meeting is virtual, and a link to attending can be found at myavista.com/CETA.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission, and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is the operating division that provides electric service to 406,000 customers and natural gas to 372,000 customers. Its service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.7 million. Alaska Energy and Resources Company is an Avista subsidiary that provides retail electric service in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, through its subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company. Avista stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.”