PURPA Public Hearing Information
The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) was passed in 1978 as part of the National Energy Act. The three purposes of PURPA are:
- Conservation of energy supplied by electric utilities.
- Optimization of the efficient use of facilities and resources by electric utilities.
- Equitable rates to electric customers.
On occasion, new PURPA policy standards are proposed by Congress for consideration and possible adoption. These new standards in question, which include demand response practices and electric vehicle (EV) charging programs, are included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.
Snohomish PUD is considering these new PURPA standards and requesting public participation and input via an open house, a public hearing, or written comments. Learn more about the PURPA standards below and how you can get involved.
On Nov. 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA). Embedded within the IIJA are sections 40104(a)(1) and 40431(a), which require each state regulatory commission and each “nonregulated electric utility,” such as Snohomish PUD, to consider and to determine whether or not to adopt two new proposed regulatory standards relating, respectively, to demand response and electric vehicle recharging programs.
As amended, by the IIJA, PURPA Section 111(d)(20) directs nonregulated electric utilities to consider for adoption a broad regulatory policy to promote demand response. The pertinent portion of the regulatory standard is excerpted below:
“(20) Demand-response practices.
(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.
* * *
(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).”
The Snohomish PUD has one year from the enactment of the IIJA (by Nov. 15, 2022) to formally commence consideration of this regulatory standard and has two years from the enactment of the IIJA (by Nov. 15, 2023) to decide whether to adopt the regulatory standard.
As amended, PURPA Section 111(d)(21) directs nonregulated electric utilities to consider for adoption a broad, four-part regulatory policy to promote electric vehicle charging programs in their retail service territories:
“(21) Electric vehicle charging programs. 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.”
The due process required by PURPA includes the requirement that the determination as to the “appropriateness” of a particular standard take place “after public notice and hearing” and be (1) “in writing”; (2) “based upon findings included in such determination and upon evidence presented at the hearing”; and (3) be made “available to the public.” Section 111(b) of PURPA.
Public participation and input
Snohomish PUD will host an open house in September and is expecting to hold a public hearing on October 2. Please watch for more information coming soon. You may also use the form below to submit written comments.