Initiative Measure 81

Initiative 81

1% for Renewables - Creation of a Small Scale Local Renewable Energy 
Development Fund


The Seattle City Council finds that the use of small-scale renewable 
energy resources generated from sources such as solar and wind power 
would provide our community with, among others, the following 

* clean and reliable electricity; 

* reduced reliance on electricity generated from fossil fuels; 

* reduced reliance on hydroelectricity during dry summers; and 

* the creation of jobs in local renewable energy products and 
technologies industries. 

The Seattle City Council recognizes that Washington State is home to 
world-class leaders in the solar and solar-related industries.  
However, the City Council finds that these companies are leaving the 
state due to lack of support from the state government. By providing 
financial incentives to citizens of Seattle who invest in renewable 
energy products, Seattle would achieve the following: 

* support for renewable energy companies and renewable energy-related 
companies within Seattle; 

* support for Washington's renewable energy industries; and

*  diversification of Seattle's electricity sources, which would 
provide greater energy security and reliability for Seattle.

Finding that the promotion of renewable energy in Seattle would 
provide significant economic, environmental, and energy security 
benefits to Seattle and Washington State generally, the Seattle City 
Council proposes to offer investment cost recovery incentives through 
this renewable energy ordinance to those residential electricity 
customers of Seattle that invest in renewable energy systems.

The ordinance is as follows:

(1) A Small Scale Renewable Energy Fund (Fund) is created in the 
custody of Seattle City Light (SSL).

(2) Until June 30, 2013, a 1% rate adjustment on all SSL residential 
electric sales, except those households designated as low income, 
shall be deposited into the fund created in section (1).

(3) Only the Director of SSL or the Director's assignee may authorize 
expenditures from the fund.

(4) Any SSL residential electricity customer who becomes a Small 
Scale Renewable Generator (Generator) by investing in and operating 
either a small-scale (solar electric or wind) renewable energy system 
(system) of up to 5 kilowatts (kW) that feeds into the SSL 
electricity distribution system may receive annual investment cost 
recovery incentive payments from SSL. The amount of the incentive 
payment is calculated based on the amount of electricity in kilowatt-
hours (kWh) produced by the Generator's system in that year.

(5) The incentive application shall be on a form prepared by SSL and 
shall include a statement issued by SSL that verifies the system's 
electricity production.

(6) Other than a 5% administration fee charged by SSL for payment 
processing costs, all funds deposited into the Fund will be 
distributed annually to Generators.  See (7) for limitations on fund 

(7) The investment cost recovery payment shall be calculated as 

a) After a 5% administration cost has been subtracted, 100% of the 
remaining money collected and deposited in the Fund shall be paid to 
participating Generators.

b) Generators shall receive payments based on the total amount of 
electricity produced by their system during the applicable year.  The 
Generator will be responsible for purchasing from SSL a utility-grade 
electric meter to measure the electricity produced by their system 
from SSL.

c) Generators are limited to small (5 kW or smaller) solar, or wind 
systems.  These customer-owned and maintained systems must be located 
within SSL's electricity distribution system.

d) Payment to individual Generators is equal to the total money 
deposited in the Fund for the applicable year divided by the total 
electricity produced by all the Generators during that year.  The 
maximum payment in any year shall be limited to $1.50 per kWh and is 
set at the discretion of the Director of SSL.  Any money remaining in 
the Fund after the disbursement of payment to Generators shall remain 
in the Fund and shall be added to the following year's Fund balance.

e) Generators are responsible for meeting all SSL electrical 
interconnection requirements, complying with all State and Federal 
safety laws and regulations, and obtaining all necessary permits and 

This ordinance expires July 1, 2014.