It's crunch time for those backing Initiative 2066.  They have until July 5th to submit just over 400,000 signature in order to get it on the November ballot.  If you aren't familiar with I-2066, it was written in response to the Legislatures passage of HB1589.  While the bill doesn't outright ban natural gas (as it is not within the State's authority to do so), it does encourage utilities to move away from provide the affordable energy options to consumers.

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Natural Gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, is 3.4 times more affordable that electricity, and is vital for restaurant, manufacturing, and processing operations.  That doesn't take into consideration the roughly 1.3 million homes that use natural gas in some form around the State.

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The kicker is that neither the State, nor the utility companies, will be helping homeowners offset the average conversion cost of approximately 40,000 to move from gas to electricity.  That's average estimated cost.  If you live in King County, it could be double that and you're on the hook for all of it.

Is It Really Going To Cost That Much?

The Building Industry Association of Washington, on their website, recently laid out the average cost to convert a home from gas appliance to electric.

  • $1,570.44 for an induction stove to replace natural gas stoves for cooking.
  • $2,165.07 to replace a natural gas water heater.
  • $7,800 on average to convert from a gas furnace to a heat pump, including tax credits and/or rebates.
  • $1,703.74 to replace a gas fireplace with an electric one. In most cases, you can’t convert a gas fireplace to wood burning. Electric fireplaces will be dark and useless if the power goes out.
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What Will I-2066 Do To Help Protect Natural Gas?

  • Keep the power on when our energy grid is at capacity in super cold or hot weather.

I-2066 Will NOT

  • Reduce the state’s commitment to addressing climate change.

Who Will Be The Most Significantly Impacted?

The food industry along with manufacturing and processing plants would be hit hard.  As far as private citizens go, the biggest impact will be felt by those on fixed incomes like seniors and those on disability, as well as low income families.

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They don't necessarily have the means to replace a furnace to have heat in the winter, a water heater to provide hot water, or a stove to cook meals.

Super Signing Event For I-2066

A Super Initiative signing event for 2066 is happening this Friday, June 21st, from 3:30- 5:30pm at the Home Builders Association Building at 10001 W Clearwater Ave in Kennewick.

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State Representatives and Senators from the 8th and 16th Districts will be there to answer questions about HB1589 and it's impacts and folks from the BIAW will be there as well.  You don;t necessarily have to get out of your car to sign the Initiative.  They will have drive thru options as well.  Enough signatures give you the chance to preserve your energy choices in Washington State.

13 New Washington State Laws You Need to Know About for 2024 (Updated June 2024)


13 . Concerning paid sick leave for any employee https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?billnumber=5793&year=2024&initiative=False

Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby