Chapter 19.29A RCW

CONSUMERS OF ELECTRICITY

Sections

19.29A.005FindingsIntent.
19.29A.010Definitions.
19.29A.020Disclosures to retail electric customers.
19.29A.030Notice of disclosures to retail electric customers.
19.29A.040Exceptions for small utilityVoluntary compliance.
19.29A.050Annual fuel mix informationDisclosure labelRequirements.
19.29A.060Fuel mix disclosureElectricity product categoriesDisclosure format.
19.29A.070Actions required of departmentConvene work groupReport to legislature.
19.29A.080Electricity information coordinatorSelectionRegional entity serving as coordinator, requirementsRetail supplier's information.
19.29A.090Voluntary option to purchase qualified alternative energy resourcesRates, terms, and conditionsInformation maintenance.
19.29A.100Electric utilitiesCustomer informationSale or disclosureRequirementsExemptionsApplication of consumer protection act.
19.29A.110PersonsCustomer informationCapture, obtain, or disclosure for commercial purposeRequirementsApplication of consumer protection act.
19.29A.120ExemptionsEnergy benchmark programs.
19.29A.900Construction1998 c 300.


FindingsIntent.

(1) The legislature finds that:
(a) Electricity is a basic and fundamental need of all residents; and
(b) Currently Washington's consumer-owned and investor-owned utilities offer consumers a high degree of reliability and service quality while providing some of the lowest rates in the country.
(2) The legislature intends to:
(a) Preserve the benefits of consumer and environmental protection, system reliability, high service quality, and low-cost rates;
(b) Ensure that all retail electrical customers have the same level of rights and protections; and
(c) Require the adequate disclosure of the rights afforded to retail electric customers.



Definitions.

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The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Biomass generation" means electricity derived from burning solid organic fuels from wood, forest, or field residue, or dedicated energy crops that do not include wood pieces that have been treated with chemical preservatives such as creosote, pentachlorophenol, or copper-chrome-arsenic.
(2) "Bonneville power administration system mix" means a generation mix sold by the Bonneville power administration that is net of any resource specific sales and that is net of any electricity sold to direct service industrial customers, as defined in section 3(8) of the Pacific Northwest electric power planning and conservation act (16 U.S.C. Sec. 839(a)(8)).
(3) "Coal generation" means the electricity produced by a generating facility that burns coal as the primary fuel source.
(4) "Commission" means the utilities and transportation commission.
(5) "Conservation" means an increase in efficiency in the use of energy use that yields a decrease in energy consumption while providing the same or higher levels of service. Conservation includes low-income weatherization programs.
(6) "Consumer-owned utility" means a municipal electric utility formed under Title 35 RCW, a public utility district formed under Title 54 RCW, an irrigation district formed under chapter 87.03 RCW, a cooperative formed under chapter 23.86 RCW, or a mutual corporation or association formed under chapter 24.06 RCW, that is engaged in the business of distributing electricity to more than one retail electric customer in the state.
(7) "Declared resource" means an electricity source specifically identified by a retail supplier to serve retail electric customers. A declared resource includes a stated quantity of electricity tied directly to a specified generation facility or set of facilities either through ownership or contract purchase, or a contractual right to a stated quantity of electricity from a specified generation facility or set of facilities.
(8) "Department" means the department of commerce.
(9) "Electric meters in service" means those meters that record in at least nine of twelve calendar months in any calendar year not less than two hundred fifty kilowatt-hours per month.
(10) "Electric utility" means a consumer-owned or investor-owned utility as defined in this section.
(11) "Electricity" means electric energy measured in kilowatt-hours, or electric capacity measured in kilowatts, or both.
(12) "Electricity information coordinator" means the organization selected by the department under RCW 19.29A.080 to: (a) Compile generation data in the Northwest power pool by generating project and by resource category; (b) compare the quantity of electricity from declared resources reported by retail suppliers with available generation from such resources; (c) calculate the net system power mix; and (d) coordinate with other comparable organizations in the western interconnection.
(13) "Electricity product" means the electrical energy produced by a generating facility or facilities that a retail supplier sells or offers to sell to retail electric customers in the state of Washington, provided that nothing in this title shall be construed to mean that electricity is a good or product for the purposes of Title 62A RCW, or any other purpose. It does not include electrical energy generated on-site at a retail electric customer's premises.
(14) "Fuel mix" means the actual or imputed sources of electricity sold to retail electric customers, expressed in terms of percentage contribution by resource category. The total fuel mix included in each disclosure shall total one hundred percent.
(15) "Geothermal generation" means electricity derived from thermal energy naturally produced within the earth.
(16) "Governing body" means the council of a city or town, the commissioners of an irrigation district, municipal electric utility, or public utility district, or the board of directors of an electric cooperative or mutual association that has the authority to set and approve rates.
(17) "High efficiency cogeneration" means electricity produced by equipment, such as heat or steam used for industrial, commercial, heating, or cooling purposes, that meets the federal energy regulatory commission standards for qualifying facilities under the public utility regulatory policies act of 1978.
(18) "Hydroelectric generation" means a power source created when water flows from a higher elevation to a lower elevation and the flow is converted to electricity in one or more generators at a single facility.
(19) "Investor-owned utility" means a company owned by investors that meets the definition of RCW 80.04.010 and is engaged in distributing electricity to more than one retail electric customer in the state.
(20) "Landfill gas generation" means electricity produced by a generating facility that uses waste gases produced by the decomposition of organic materials in landfills.
(21) "Natural gas generation" means electricity produced by a generating facility that burns natural gas as the primary fuel source.
(22) "Net system power mix" means the fuel mix in the Northwest power pool, net of: (a) Any declared resources in the Northwest power pool identified by in-state retail suppliers or out-of-state entities that offer electricity for sale to retail electric customers; (b) any electricity sold by the Bonneville power administration to direct service industrial customers; and (c) any resource specific sales made by the Bonneville power administration.
(23) "Northwest power pool" means the generating resources included in the United States portion of the Northwest power pool area as defined by the western systems coordinating council.
(24) "Oil generation" means electricity produced by a generating facility that burns oil as the primary fuel source.
(25) "Private customer information" includes a retail electric customer's name, address, telephone number, and other personally identifying information.
(26) "Proprietary customer information" means: (a) Information that relates to the source, technical configuration, destination, and amount of electricity used by a retail electric customer, a retail electric customer's payment history, and household data that is made available by the customer solely by virtue of the utility-customer relationship; and (b) information contained in a retail electric customer's bill.
(27) "Renewable resources" means electricity generation facilities fueled by: (a) Water; (b) wind; (c) solar energy; (d) geothermal energy; (e) landfill gas; or (f) biomass energy based on solid organic fuels from wood, forest, or field residues, or dedicated energy crops that do not include wood pieces that have been treated with chemical preservatives such as creosote, pentachlorophenol, or copper-chrome-arsenic.
(28) "Resale" means the purchase and subsequent sale of electricity for profit, but does not include the purchase and the subsequent sale of electricity at the same rate at which the electricity was purchased.
(29) "Retail electric customer" means a person or entity that purchases electricity for ultimate consumption and not for resale.
(30) "Retail supplier" means an electric utility that offers an electricity product for sale to retail electric customers in the state.
(31) "Small utility" means any consumer-owned utility with twenty-five thousand or fewer electric meters in service, or that has an average of seven or fewer customers per mile of distribution line.
(32) "Solar generation" means electricity derived from radiation from the sun that is directly or indirectly converted to electrical energy.
(33) "State" means the state of Washington.
(34) "Waste incineration generation" means electricity derived from burning solid or liquid wastes from businesses, households, municipalities, or waste treatment operations.
(35) "Wind generation" means electricity created by movement of air that is converted to electrical energy.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).



Disclosures to retail electric customers.

Except as otherwise provided in RCW 19.29A.040, each electric utility must provide its retail electric customers with the following disclosures in accordance with RCW 19.29A.030:
(1) An explanation of any applicable credit and deposit requirements, including the means by which credit may be established, the conditions under which a deposit may be required, the amount of any deposit, interest paid on the deposit, and the circumstances under which the deposit will be returned or forfeited.
(2) A complete, itemized listing of all rates and charges for which the customer is responsible, including charges, if any, to terminate service, the identity of the entity responsible for setting rates, and an explanation of how to receive notice of public hearings where changes in rates will be considered or approved.
(3) An explanation of the metering or measurement policies and procedures, including the process for verifying the reliability of the meters or measurements and adjusting bills upon discovery of errors in the meters or measurements.
(4) An explanation of bill payment policies and procedures, including due dates, applicable late fees, and the interest rate charged, if any, on unpaid balances.
(5) An explanation of the payment arrangement options available to customers, including budget payment plans and the availability of home heating assistance from government and private sector organizations.
(6) An explanation of the method by which customers must give notice of their intent to discontinue service, the circumstances under which service may be discontinued by the utility, the conditions that must be met by the utility prior to discontinuing service, and how to avoid disconnection.
(7) An explanation of the utility's policies governing the confidentiality of private and proprietary customer information, including the circumstances under which the information may be disclosed and ways in which customers can control access to the information.
(8) An explanation of the methods by which customers may make inquiries to and file complaints with the utility, and the utility's procedures for responding to and resolving complaints and disputes, including a customer's right to complain about an investor-owned utility to the commission and appeal a decision by a consumer-owned utility to the governing body of the consumer-owned utility.
(9) An annual report containing the following information for the previous calendar year:
(a) A general description of the electric utility's customers, including the number of residential, commercial, and industrial customers served by the electric utility, and the amount of electricity consumed by each customer class in which there are at least three customers, stated as a percentage of the total utility load;
(b) A summary of the average electricity rates for each customer class in which there are at least three customers, stated in cents per kilowatt-hour, the date of the electric utility's last general rate increase or decrease, the identity of the entity responsible for setting rates, and an explanation of how to receive notice of public hearings where changes in rates will be considered or approved;
(c) An explanation of the amount invested by the electric utility in conservation, nonhydrorenewable resources, and low-income energy assistance programs, and the source of funding for the investments; and
(d) An explanation of the amount of federal, state, and local taxes collected and paid by the electric utility, including the amounts collected by the electric utility but paid directly by retail electric customers.



Notice of disclosures to retail electric customers.

Except as otherwise provided in RCW 19.29A.040, an electric utility shall:
(1) Provide notice to all of its retail electric customers that the disclosures required in RCW 19.29A.020 are available without charge upon request. Such notice shall be provided at the time service is established and either included as a prominent part of each customer's bill or in a written notice mailed to each customer at least once a year thereafter. Required disclosures shall be provided without charge, in writing using plain language that is understandable to an ordinary customer, and presented in a form that is clear and conspicuous.
(2) Disclose the following information in a prominent manner on all billing statements sent to retail electric customers, or by a separate written notice mailed to all retail electric customers at least quarterly and at the same time as a billing statement: "YOUR BILL INCLUDES CHARGES FOR ELECTRICITY, DELIVERY SERVICES, GENERAL ADMINISTRATION AND OVERHEAD, METERING, TAXES, CONSERVATION EXPENSES, AND OTHER ITEMS."



Exceptions for small utilityVoluntary compliance.

The provisions of RCW 19.29A.020, 19.29A.030, section 5, chapter 300, Laws of 1998, and RCW 19.29A.090 do not apply to a small utility. However, nothing in this section prohibits the governing body of a small utility from determining the utility should comply with any or all of the provisions of RCW 19.29A.020, 19.29A.030, section 5, chapter 300, Laws of 1998, and RCW 19.29A.090, which governing bodies are encouraged to do.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date2001 c 214: See notes following RCW 80.50.010.
Findings2001 c 214: See note following RCW 39.35.010.



Annual fuel mix informationDisclosure labelRequirements.

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(1) Beginning in 2001, each retail supplier shall provide to its existing and new retail electric customers its annual fuel mix information by generation category as required in RCW 19.29A.060.
(2) Disclosures required under subsection (1) of this section shall be provided through a disclosure label presented in a standardized format as required in RCW 19.29A.060(7).
(3) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, each retail supplier shall provide the disclosure label:
(a) To each of its new retail electric customers at the time service is established;
(b) To all of its existing retail electric customers, as a bill insert or other mailed publication, not less than semiannually; and
(c) As part of any marketing material, in paper, written, or other media format, that is used primarily to promote the sale of any specific electricity product being advertised, contracted for, or offered for sale to current or prospective retail electric customers.
(4) In addition to the disclosure requirements under subsection (3) of this section, each retail supplier shall provide to each electric customer it serves, at least two additional times per year, a publication that contains either:
(a) The disclosure label;
(b) A customer service phone number to request a disclosure label; or
(c) A reference to an electronic form of the disclosure label.
(5) Small utilities and mutual light and power companies shall provide the disclosure label not less than annually through a publication that is distributed to all their retail electric customers, and have disclosure label information available in their main business office. If a small utility or mutual company engages in marketing a specific electric product new to that utility it shall provide the disclosure label described in subsection (3)(c) of this section.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2000 c 213: "(1) Consumer disclosure ensures that retail electric consumers purchasing electric energy receive basic information about the characteristics associated with their electric product in a form that facilitates consumer understanding of retail electric energy service and the development of new products responsive to consumer preferences.
(2) The legislature finds and declares that there is a need for reliable, accurate, and timely information regarding fuel source, that is consistently collected, for all electricity products offered for retail sale in Washington.
(3) The desirability and feasibility of such disclosure has been clearly established in nutrition labeling, uniform food pricing, truth-in-lending, and other consumer information programs.
(4) The legislature intends to establish a consumer disclosure standard under which retail suppliers in Washington disclose information on the fuel mix of the electricity products they sell. Fundamental to disclosure is a label that promotes consistency in content and format, that is accurate, reliable, and simple to understand, and that allows verification of the accuracy of information reported.
(5) To ensure that consumer information is verifiable and accurate, certain characteristics of electricity generation must be tracked and compared with information provided to consumers." [ 2000 c 213 § 1.]



Fuel mix disclosureElectricity product categoriesDisclosure format.

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(1) Each retail supplier shall disclose the fuel mix of each electricity product it offers to retail electric customers as follows:
(a) For an electricity product comprised entirely of declared resources, a retail supplier shall disclose the fuel mix for the electricity product based on the quantity of electric generation from those declared resources for the previous calendar year and any adjustment, if taken, available under subsection (6) of this section.
(b) For an electricity product comprised of no declared resources, a retail supplier shall report the fuel mix for the electricity product as the fuel mix of net system power for the previous calendar year, as determined by the electricity information coordinator under RCW 19.29A.080.
(c) For an electricity product comprised of a combination of declared resources and the net system power, a retail supplier shall disclose the fuel mix for the electricity product as a weighted average of the megawatt-hours from declared resources and the megawatt-hours from the net system power mix for the previous calendar year according to the proportion of declared resources and net system power contained in the electricity product.
(2) The disclosures required by this section shall identify the percentage of the total electricity product sold by a retail supplier during the previous calendar year from each of the following categories:
(a) Coal generation;
(b) Hydroelectric generation;
(c) Natural gas generation;
(d) Nuclear generation; and
(e) Other generation, except that when a component of the other generation category meets or exceeds two percent of the total electricity product sold by a retail supplier during the previous calendar year, the retail supplier shall identify the component or components and display the fuel mix percentages for these component sources, which may include, but are not limited to: (i) Biomass generation; (ii) geothermal generation; (iii) landfill gas generation; (iv) oil generation; (v) solar generation; (vi) waste incineration; or (vii) wind generation. A retail supplier may voluntarily identify any component or components within the other generation category that comprises two percent or less of annual sales.
(3) Retail suppliers may separately report a subcategory of natural gas generation to identify high efficiency cogeneration.
(4) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, a retail supplier cannot include in the disclosure label any environmental quality or environmental impact qualifier related to any of the generation categories disclosed.
(5) For the portion of an electricity product purchased from the Bonneville power administration, retail suppliers may disclose the Bonneville power administration system mix.
(6) A retail supplier may adjust its reported fuel mix for known changes in its declared resources for the current year based on any changes in its sources of electricity supply from either generation or contracts. If a retail supplier changes its fuel mix during a calendar year, it shall report those changes to the electricity information coordinator.
(7) Disclosure of the fuel mix information required in this section shall be made in the following uniform format: A tabular format with two columns, where the first column shall alphabetically list each category and the second column shall display the corresponding percentage of the total that each category represents. The percentage shall be reported as a numeric value rounded to the nearest one percent. The percentages listed for the categories identified must sum to one hundred percent with the table displaying such a total.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2000 c 213: See note following RCW 19.29A.050.



Actions required of departmentConvene work groupReport to legislature.

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The department shall:
(1) Convene a work group of interested parties to suggest modifications, if any, to the disclosure requirements required in RCW 19.29A.060 to improve information content, readability, and consumer understanding, and to suggest modifications, if any, to the responsibilities of the electricity information coordinator required in RCW 19.29A.080 to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the tracking process. If the department serves as the electricity information coordinator, these evaluation and reporting requirements relative to the responsibilities of the electricity information coordinator and the tracking process shall be assigned to an independent third party;
(2) Invite interested parties, including but not limited to representatives from investor-owned utilities, consumer-owned utilities, the commission, the attorney general's office, consumer advocacy groups, and the environmental community to participate in the work group convened in subsection (1) of this section; and
(3) Submit to the legislature no later than December 1, 2003, a report with suggested modifications, if any, to the disclosure requirements and responsibilities of the electricity information coordinator, as referred to in subsection (1) of this section.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2000 c 213: See note following RCW 19.29A.050.



Electricity information coordinatorSelectionRegional entity serving as coordinator, requirementsRetail supplier's information.

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(1) For the purpose of selecting the electricity information coordinator, the department shall form a work group of interested parties. The department shall invite interested parties, including, but not limited to, representatives from investor-owned utilities, consumer-owned utilities, the commission, the attorney general's office, consumer advocacy groups, and the environmental community to participate in the work group. In the event an appropriate regional entity is not selected by November 1, 2000, the department shall serve as the electricity information coordinator after notifying the committees of the senate and house of representatives with jurisdiction over energy matters.
(2) The department may receive any lawful gifts, grants, or endowments from public or private sources that are made from time to time, in trust or otherwise, for the use and benefit of the department in implementing this section, and may spend such gifts, grants, or endowments for the purposes of implementing this section.
(3) As a condition for an appropriate regional entity to be selected under this section to serve as the electricity information coordinator, it must agree to compile the following information:
(a) Actual generation by fuel mix in the Northwest power pool for the prior calendar year, expressed in megawatt-hours. This data will be compiled as it becomes available.
(b) Adjustments to the actual generation for the prior calendar year that are known and provided to the electricity information coordinator by the end of January of the current calendar year to reflect known changes in declared resources for the current year and changes due to interconnection of new generating resources or decommissioning or sale of existing resources or contracts. These adjustments shall include supporting documentation.
(c) The amount of electricity from declared resources that retail suppliers will identify in their fuel mix disclosures during the current calendar year. Retail suppliers shall make this data available by the end of January each year.
(4) Retail suppliers shall make available upon request the following information to support the ownership or contractual rights to declared resources:
(a) Documentation of ownership of declared resources by retail suppliers; or
(b) Documentation of contractual rights by retail suppliers to a stated quantity of electricity from a specific generating facility.
If the documentation referred to in either (a) or (b) of this subsection is not available, the retail supplier may not identify the electricity source as a declared resource and instead must report the net system power mix for the quantity of electric generation from that resource.
(5) If the documentation referred to in either subsection (4)(a) or (b) of this section is not available, the retail supplier may not identify the electricity source as a declared resource and instead must report the net system power mix for the quantity of electric generation from that resource.
(6) As a condition for an appropriate regional entity to be selected under this section to serve as the electricity information coordinator, it must agree to:
(a) Coordinate with comparable entities or organizations in the western interconnection;
(b) On or before May 1st of each year, or as soon thereafter as practicable once the data in subsection (3)(a) of this section is available, calculate and make available the net system power mix as follows:
(i) The actual Northwest power pool generation for the prior calendar year;
(ii) Plus any adjustments to the Northwest power pool generation as made available to the electricity information coordinator by the end of January of the current calendar year pursuant to RCW 19.29A.060(6);
(iii) Less the quantity of electricity associated with declared resources claimed by retail suppliers for the current calendar year;
(iv) Plus other adjustments necessary to ensure that the same resource output is not declared more than once;
(c) To the extent the information is available, verify that the quantity of electricity associated with the declared resources does not exceed the available generation from those resources.
(7) Subsections (3) and (6) of this section apply to the department in the event the department assumes the functions of the electricity information coordinator.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2000 c 213: See note following RCW 19.29A.050.



Voluntary option to purchase qualified alternative energy resourcesRates, terms, and conditionsInformation maintenance.

(1) Beginning January 1, 2002, each electric utility must provide to its retail electricity [electric] customers a voluntary option to purchase qualified alternative energy resources in accordance with this section.
(2) Each electric utility must include with its retail electric customer's regular billing statements, at least quarterly, a voluntary option to purchase qualified alternative energy resources. The option may allow customers to purchase qualified alternative energy resources at fixed or variable rates and for fixed or variable periods of time, including but not limited to monthly, quarterly, or annual purchase agreements. A utility may provide qualified alternative energy resource options through either: (a) Resources it owns or contracts for; or (b) the purchase of credits issued by a clearinghouse or other system by which the utility may secure, for trade or other consideration, verifiable evidence that a second party has a qualified alternative energy resource and that the second party agrees to transfer such evidence exclusively to the benefit of the utility.
(3) For the purposes of this section, a "qualified alternative energy resource" means the electricity or thermal energy produced from generation facilities that are fueled by: (a) Wind; (b) solar energy; (c) geothermal energy; (d) landfill gas; (e) wave or tidal action; (f) gas produced during the treatment of wastewater; (g) qualified hydropower; or (h) biomass energy based on animal waste or solid or liquid organic fuels from wood, forest, or field residues, or dedicated energy crops that do not include wood pieces that have been treated with chemical preservatives such as creosote, pentachlorophenol, or copper-chrome-arsenic.
(4) For the purposes of this section, "qualified hydropower" means the energy produced either: (a) As a result of modernizations or upgrades made after June 1, 1998, to hydropower facilities operating on May 8, 2001, that have been demonstrated to reduce the mortality of anadromous fish; or (b) by run of the river or run of the canal hydropower facilities that are not responsible for obstructing the passage of anadromous fish.
(5) The rates, terms, conditions, and customer notification of each utility's option or options offered in accordance with this section must be approved by the governing body of the consumer-owned utility or by the commission for investor-owned utilities. All costs and benefits associated with any option offered by an electric utility under this section must be allocated to the customers who voluntarily choose that option and may not be shifted to any customers who have not chosen such option. Utilities may pursue known, lawful aggregated purchasing of qualified alternative energy resources with other utilities to the extent aggregated purchasing can reduce the unit cost of qualified alternative energy resources, and are encouraged to investigate opportunities to aggregate the purchase of alternative energy resources by their customers. Aggregated purchases by investor-owned utilities must comply with any applicable rules or policies adopted by the commission related to least-cost planning or the acquisition of renewable resources.
(6) Each consumer-owned utility must maintain and make available upon request of the department and each investor-owned utility must maintain and make available upon request of the commission information describing the option or options it is offering its customers under the requirements of this section, the rate of customer participation, the amount of qualified alternative energy resources purchased by customers, the amount of utility investments in qualified alternative energy resources, and the results of pursuing aggregated purchasing opportunities. The department and the commission shall report the information to the appropriate committees of the legislature upon request.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date2001 c 214: See notes following RCW 80.50.010.
Findings2001 c 214: See note following RCW 39.35.010.



Electric utilitiesCustomer informationSale or disclosureRequirementsExemptionsApplication of consumer protection act.

(1) An electric utility may not sell private or proprietary customer information.
(2) An electric utility may not disclose private or proprietary customer information with or to its affiliates, subsidiaries, or any other third party for the purposes of marketing services or product offerings to a retail electric customer who does not already subscribe to that service or product, unless the utility has first obtained the customer's written or electronic permission to do so.
(3) The utility must:
(a) Obtain a retail electric customer's prior permission for each instance of disclosure of his or her private or proprietary customer information to an affiliate, subsidiary, or other third party for purposes of marketing services or products that the customer does not already subscribe to; and
(b) Maintain a record for each instance of permission for disclosing a retail electric customer's private or proprietary customer information.
(4) An electric utility must retain the following information for each instance of a retail electric customer's consent for disclosure of his or her private or proprietary customer information if provided electronically:
(a) The confirmation of consent for the disclosure of private customer information;
(b) A list of the date of the consent and the affiliates, subsidiaries, or third parties to which the customer has authorized disclosure of his or her private or proprietary customer information; and
(c) A confirmation that the name, service address, and account number exactly matches the utility record for such account.
(5)(a) This section does not require customer permission for or prevent disclosure of private or proprietary customer information by an electric utility to a third party with which the utility has a contract where such contract is directly related to conduct of the utility's business, provided that the contract prohibits the third party from further disclosing or selling any private or proprietary customer information obtained from the utility to a party that is not the utility and not a party to the contract with the utility.
(b) The legislature finds that the disclosure or sale of private or proprietary customer information by a third party, when prohibited by a contract under this subsection (5), is a matter vitally affecting the public interest for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW, to the third party. Disclosure or sale of private or proprietary customer information by a third party, when prohibited by a contract under this subsection (5), is not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business and is an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of competition for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW.
(6) This section does not prevent disclosure of the essential terms and conditions of special contracts.
(7) This section does not prevent the electric utility from inserting any marketing information into the retail electric customer's billing package.
(8) An electric utility may collect and release retail electric customer information in aggregate form if the aggregated information does not allow any specific customer to be identified.
(9) The statewide minimum privacy policy established in subsections (1) through (8) of this section must, in the case of an investor-owned utility, be enforced by the commission by rule or order.
(10) The statewide minimum privacy policy established in subsections (1) through (8) of this section must, in the case of a consumer-owned utility, be implemented by the utility through a policy adopted by the governing board within one year of October 9, 2015, that includes provisions ensuring compliance with subsections (1) through (8) of this section. The policy must include procedures, consistent with applicable law, for investigation and resolution of complaints by a retail electric customer whose private or proprietary information may have been sold by the consumer-owned utility or disclosed by the utility for the purposes of marketing services or product offerings in violation of this section.



PersonsCustomer informationCapture, obtain, or disclosure for commercial purposeRequirementsApplication of consumer protection act.

(1) A person may not capture or obtain private or proprietary customer information for a commercial purpose unless the person:
(a) Informs the retail electric customer before capturing or obtaining private or proprietary customer information; and
(b) Receives the retail electric customer's written or electronic permission to capture or obtain private or proprietary customer information.
(2) A person who legally possesses private or proprietary customer information that is captured or obtained for a commercial purpose may not sell, lease, or otherwise disclose the private or proprietary customer information to another person unless:
(a) The retail electric customer consents to the disclosure;
(b) The private or proprietary customer information is disclosed to an electric utility or other third party as necessary to effect, administer, enforce, or complete a financial transaction that the retail electric customer requested, initiated, or authorized, provided that the electric utility or third party maintains confidentiality of the private or proprietary customer information and does not further disclose the information except as permitted under this subsection (2); or
(c) The disclosure is required or expressly permitted by a federal statute or by a state statute.
(3) For the purposes of this section, "person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other organization or commercial entity, except that "person" does not include an electric utility.
(4) Except as provided in RCW 19.29A.120, the legislature finds that the practices covered by this section are matters vitally affecting the public interest for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW. A violation of this section is not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business and is an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of competition for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW.



ExemptionsEnergy benchmark programs.

This chapter does not apply to energy benchmarking programs authorized by: (1) Federal law; (2) state law; or (3) local laws that are consistent with the personally identifying information requirements of RCW 19.27A.170.



Construction1998 c 300.

Nothing in chapter 300, Laws of 1998 shall be construed as conferring on any state agency jurisdiction, supervision, or control over any consumer-owned utility.