Public Input Requested

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING on October 10th, 2023 at 2pm.

Comments to the District can be submitted during the Public Hearing or emailed to until 5pm on Friday, October 20th, 2023.

Read the full Public Notice

What is PURPA?

The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) was enacted to encourage renewable resources for electric generation and electricity conservation as a response to the 1970s energy crisis. The act is administered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Cowlitz County PUD is required to comply with this act.

PURPA has required utilities to consider a variety of financial models and mechanisms for energy procurement and conservation.

New “Shall Consider” Standards

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) amended PURPA, creating a requirement for utilities to consider and then make a determination about the implementation of the new standards listed in Title 16 USC 2621(d) 20 & 21:

Demand Response and Demand Flexibility (Standard 20)

(A) In general

Each electric utility shall promote the use of demand-response and demand-flexibility practices by commercial, residential, and industrial consumers to reduce electricity consumption during periods of unusually high demand.

(B) Rate recovery

(i) In general

Each State regulatory authority shall consider establishing rate mechanisms allowing an electric utility with respect to which the State regulatory authority has ratemaking authority to timely recover the costs of promoting demand-response and demand flexibility practices in accordance with subparagraph (A).

(ii) Nonregulated electric utilities

A nonregulated electric utility may establish rate mechanisms for the timely recovery of the costs of promoting demand-response and demand flexibility practices in accordance with subparagraph (A).

Electric Vehicle Charging Programs (Standard 21)

Each State shall consider measures to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector, including the establishment of rates that—

(A) promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options for residential, commercial, and public electric vehicle charging infrastructure;

(B) improve the customer experience associated with electric vehicle charging, including by reducing charging times for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles;

(C) accelerate third-party investment in electric vehicle charging for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles; and

(D) appropriately recover the marginal costs of delivering electricity to electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

While the district is not required to adopt these standards, we must publicly analyze if the district should adopt these standards and make a determination. Cowlitz PUD has performed an analysis of the standards, and the draft findings and recommendation is available here..

What Cowlitz County PUD is doing to comply

Under the new requirements, Cowlitz PUD must consider and then determine if adoption of the standards is appropriate for our utility. The determination will be informed through the process described below:

On October 25, 2022, the Board of Commissioners approved a motion declaring Cowlitz County PUD commencement of PURPA Standards consideration process.

Cowlitz PUD has prepared a recommended determination (Attachment A) on whether to adopt the standards. Recommendations have been based on research conducted and input received by the public

On October 10th, 2023, the Cowlitz PUD will hold a Public Hearing. The Public is invited to comment during this meeting..

By November 15, 2023 the Board of Commissioners will determine if Cowlitz PUD will implement or decline to implement these standards.

Flowchart visualizing the approval process described above