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United States

Washington state power source disclosure

Washington has joined a growing list of states that require utilities to disclose to customers what power sources they use to generate electricity. Governor Gary Locke signed the bill in late March to the applause of state agencies and Northwest environmental groups. The law was passed without the benefit of electric utility restructuring legislation, which has driven similar consumer information laws in other states where they have been adopted. "Letting customers know where their electricity comes from is the first step to educating consumers and promoting clean energy choices," says Peter West of the Renewables Northwest Project. According to the Northwest Energy Coalition, only 3% of power consumed in the Northwest comes from wind, solar or geothermal, while hydropower accounts for 54%, coal 32%, natural gas and oil 8% and nuclear 3%. Only PacifiCorp offers green power in Washington.

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