(1) Purpose. Each electric utility regulated by the commission has the responsibility to meet its system demand with a least cost mix of energy supply resources and conservation. In furtherance of that responsibility, each electric utility must develop an "integrated resource plan."
(a) "Integrated resource plan" or "plan" means a plan describing the mix of energy supply resources and conservation that will meet current and future needs at the lowest reasonable cost to the utility and its ratepayers.
(b) "Lowest reasonable cost" means the lowest cost mix of resources determined through a detailed and consistent analysis of a wide range of commercially available sources. At a minimum, this analysis must consider resource cost, market-volatility risks, demand-side resource uncertainties, resource dispatchability, resource effect on system operation, the risks imposed on ratepayers, public policies regarding resource preference adopted by Washington state or the federal government and the cost of risks associated with environmental effects including emissions of carbon dioxide.
(c) "Conservation" means any reduction in electric power consumption that results from increases in the efficiency of energy use, production, or distribution.
(3) Content. At a minimum, integrated resource plans must include:
(a) A range of forecasts of future demand using methods that examine the effect of economic forces on the consumption of electricity and that address changes in the number, type and efficiency of electrical end-uses.
(b) An assessment of commercially available conservation, including load management, as well as an assessment of currently employed and new policies and programs needed to obtain the conservation improvements.
(c) An assessment of a wide range of conventional and commercially available nonconventional generating technologies.
(d) An assessment of transmission system capability and reliability, to the extent such information can be provided consistent with applicable laws.
(e) A comparative evaluation of energy supply resources (including transmission and distribution) and improvements in conservation using the criteria specified in WAC 480-100-238
(2)(b), Lowest reasonable cost.
(f) Integration of the demand forecasts and resource evaluations into a long-range (e.g., at least ten years; longer if appropriate to the life of the resources considered) integrated resource plan describing the mix of resources that is designated to meet current and projected future needs at the lowest reasonable cost to the utility and its ratepayers.
(g) A short-term plan outlining the specific actions to be taken by the utility in implementing the long-range integrated resource plan during the two years following submission.
(h) A report on the utility's progress towards implementing the recommendations contained in its previously filed plan.
(4) Timing. Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, each electric utility must submit a plan within two years after the date on which the previous plan was filed with the commission. Not later than twelve months prior to the due date of a plan, the utility must provide a work plan for informal commission review. The work plan must outline the content of the integrated resource plan to be developed by the utility and the method for assessing potential resources.
(5) Public participation. Consultations with commission staff and public participation are essential to the development of an effective plan. The work plan must outline the timing and extent of public participation. In addition, the commission will hear comment on the plan at a public hearing scheduled after the utility submits its plan for commission review.
(6) The commission will consider the information reported in the integrated resource plan when it evaluates the performance of the utility in rate and other proceedings.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160. 06-03-001 (Docket Nos. UE-030311 and UG-030312, General Order No. R-526), § 480-100-238, filed 1/4/06, effective 2/4/06; 01-11-004 (Docket No. UE-990473, General Order No. R-482), § 480-100-238, filed 5/3/01, effective 6/3/01.]