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Senate passes electrification bill that would dramatically increase costs for ratepayers

March 4, 2024

After rejecting a series of amendments designed to protect ratepayers, businesses and others, the Washington State Senate voted Friday to approve a measure that will dramatically increase energy costs for thousands of families and businesses who receive natural gas service from Puget Sound Energy (PSE).

HB 1589 will dramatically increase energy costs

Despite arguments to the contrary, the Senate passed HB 1589, which allows PSE to increase energy bills for customers to pay for expensive upgrades to their systems to decarbonize — and ultimately end natural gas service.

  • Projected annual residential gas rates in 2045 without HB 1589: $1,472.
  • If HB 1589 becomes law, annual rates will skyrocket to $2,379.

“Anyone who owns a home that heats with natural gas will be required to convert to electricity under this bill – at an average cost of $40,000 per home,” said Greg Lane, Executive Vice President of the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW). “And that will be on top of having to pay monthly rates that are also predicted to double under this bill. Whether you own or rent, this bill is going to cost you dearly.

“The truth is Washington is not ready to rely on only one source of energy,” Lane said. “Our electrical grid can’t handle it and PSE customers shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

Measure now before House of Representatives

Because the Senate amended the bill, it now returns to the House of Representatives for further consideration. The House may choose to agree to the amendments, or concur. They may reject the amendments and sent it back to the Senate. They may also reject the amendments and move into a conference committee to work out the details.

The 2024 legislative session ends March 7.

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