Washington Policy Center and The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University have released their study on “The Economic Impact of Washington State's Renewable Portfolio Standard” and the findings are mostly critical of the changes.

In 2006, Washington became the second state to implement a Renewable Portfolio Standard via Initiative 937, the Energy Independence Act. The Act requires qualified utilities to “pursue all available conservation that is cost-effective, reliable, and feasible,” as well as the more common RPS requirement of producing a set percentage of energy from eligible renewable sources.

According to the new study, the current RPS law will raise the cost of electricity by $1.22 billion for the state’s electricity consumers in 2020, within a range of $675 million and $1.675 billion. 

“These increased energy prices will hurt Washington’s households and businesses and, in turn, inflict significant harm on the state economy,” read a release from the WPC.

The study found other impacts of implementing these new standards:

  • Lower employment by an expected 8,650 jobs, within a range of 4,780 jobs and 11,885 jobs
  • Reduce real disposable income by $1.005 billion, within a range of $555 million and $1.38 billion
  • Decrease investment by $147 million, within a range of $81 million and $203 million
  • Increase the average electricity bill for households by $170 per year, for commercial businesses by an expected $1,135 per year, and for industrial businesses by an expected $13,225 per year

To read the full joint study, click here.