State of Natural Gas in Washington

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If you have concerns about policies that restrict energy choice, here’s what you can do:

You’re not alone. A Pew Research Center poll from the end of January 2022, found that most Americans would like the country to keep a mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy to heat and power their homes.[1]

Whether for or against continued energy choice and the use of natural gas as a decarbonization solution, it’s important that all voices are heard regarding our state’s energy future.

Stay informed by logging into your Cascade Natural Gas online account and make sure you are opted-in to receive periodic Company & Industry News via email.

Get directly involved in preserving your energy choice through the NW Coalition for Energy Choice.

[1] https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/climate-change/596376-most-americans-want-us-to-prioritize-renewable

Electrification proponents are using several strategies to move natural gas bans forward including:

  • Code ordinances
    • The State Building Code Council (SBCC) has voted to approve changes to the State Building Codes that will typically prohibit the use of natural gas space and water heating in commercial development, and is considering proposals that would also significantly limit natural gas use in residential construction. For additional information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Natural Gas for the 2021 WA State Energy Code.
    • Cascade Natural Gas is proud to serve our Washington customers with natural gas. To assist our community partners in continuing to build high-efficiency natural gas homes that meet Washington State Energy Code (WESC) Requirements, Cascade is pleased to provide the following resources:

Flowchart for Natural Gas in the 2021 WA State Residential Energy Code

Flowchart for Natural Gas in the 2021 WA State Commercial Energy Code

  • Legislation
    • Electrification supporters have been attempting to pass legislation that would require natural gas utilities to file plans with the Utilities and Transportation Commission on how to decommission portions of the natural gas pipeline and decrease natural gas service to Washingtonians. Other legislation has been proposed that would allow local natural gas bans to new residential construction through a “reach code,” or empower municipal utilities to offer financial incentives to natural gas customers to switch to electricity. These bills failed to make it into law. However, it’s anticipated that new bills of this nature will continue to be offered by electrification interests during future legislative sessions.
  • Local bans
    • Electrification interests have coordinated with local governments and municipalities to encourage restrictions, or outright bans, to the use of natural gas. In Washington state, local restrictions have already taken effect in cities including Bellingham, and Seattle.

On February 28, a coalition of more than 15 plaintiffs representing labor, energy, HVAC, business, and homeowners have filed a lawsuit challenging Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC)’s amendments that limit the use of gas equipment in homes and buildings. The plaintiffs allege the SBCC approved the rules without legislative authority and ignored cost studies and feasibility reports in making its decision.

Cascade supports energy choice and pathways to decarbonization that includes gaseous fuels. We will continue to monitor this effort as appropriate. More information regarding the litigation can be found at www.biaw.com.

This web page was created at no cost to Cascade Natural Gas customers.