Clean Energy Transformation Act

Working Together to Meet Tomorrow’s Clean Electricity Requirements

Creek flowing through a forest

On May 7, 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) (SB 5116, 2019)

The CETA applies to all electric utilities serving retail customers in the state of Washington

  • The law sets specific milestones to reach the required 100% clean electricity supply

About the Clean Energy Transformation Act

The CETA was just one bill in a suite of clean energy legislation signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee.

  • To meet the 2030 standards, in addition to becoming more efficient, utilities will have to replace coal-based resources with non-emitting and renewable sources including:
    • Wind
    • Hydropower
    • Or other renewable sources
  • The law includes provisions that strive to protect low-income customers and benefit all state residents
    • Including those that would be affected most by climate change and environmental pollution
  • Utilities will be required to provide energy assistance to low-income customers and to tailor programs to vulnerable populations and households with high energy burdens
  • The legislation requires utilities to use a framework that enables the facilitation of public participation and oversight while working to meet reduction goals
  • Utilities will be required to account for the costs of carbon pollution when considering energy sources
  • They must develop short-term and long-term clean energy plans that demonstrate how they’ll meet carbon standards for the lowest reasonable cost
  • Stakeholders and state government officials from the Department of Commerce are working together to establish the rules of implementing CETA, which utilities also must comply with

Quick Facts

Clean Energy Implementation Plans:

  • By January 1, 2022, and every 4 years thereafter, Washington utilities must develop and submit a clean energy implementation plan to the Washington State Department of Commerce
  • This plan must follow the standards and targets established under the Clean Energy Transformation Act, as well as specific targets for energy efficiency, demand response, and renewable energy

Regulatory Agencies:

  • Besides the Washington State Department of Commerce, other state agencies with roles in CETA implementation and compliance include the State Auditor, the Attorney, and the departments of Ecology and Health

Renewable Resources:

  • Hydropower will continue to have a central role in the Pacific Northwest’s energy supply during the CETA implementation timeframe
  • Even so, utilities are expected to look to other technological innovations and investments that will reduce carbon emissions in other areas

Emerging Technology:

  • State legislators are aware that renewable energy technologies are still in their infancy, and many are not yet ready to be scaled to real-world applications
  • The act provides a cost cap so that utilities will not be penalized if they cannot meet reduction deadlines because renewable products aren’t available or affordable

Equity Consideration:

  • CETA requires that equity considerations become an explicit part of utility planning
  • Utilities must assess the potential impacts of their decisions on 2 communities: vulnerable populations and highly impacted communities


  • By 2025: Utilities must phase out coal-fired electricity from their state portfolios
  • By 2030: Their portfolios must be greenhouse gas emissions neutral, which means they may use limited amounts of electricity generated from natural gas if it is offset by other actions
  • By 2045: utilities must supply Washington customers with electricity that is 100% renewable or non-emitting, with no provision for offsets

Modern’s Commitment to You:

  • Modern’s Board of Directors and Executive Team are working with other utilities and state officials to define parameters and optional pathways to reach the CETA’s goals while still providing you, our customer, with reliable and affordable electricity

Useful Links