Washington State Department of Commerce

Clean energy projects will reduce energy burden for low-income households and nonprofit housing providers

The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $3.7 million in grants for nine solar energy projects across the state. The projects will result in a total $6.1 million reduction in the energy burden of low-income households and nonprofits serving low-income communities over 25 years.

The Low-Income Solar Deployment Program is part of Washington’s Clean Energy Fund, established in 2013. These grants will result in 2.8 …


Renewed federal grant funding supports 196 community-based homeless programs that provide transitional housing, rental assistance, supportive services and housing to nearly 18,000 people

Early last year, Sandra (name changed for confidentiality) packed herself and her five children into a car and fled her abuser in California to a friend’s home in Washington.

Shortly after arriving in Thurston County, she was directed to the Family Support Center of South Sound. They quickly connected her to a domestic violence housing advocate through the agency’s Family Justice Center Program. The advocate worked with Sandy to figure out what barriers she had to finding…


Lack of affordable child care is keeping more than 133,000 potential workers out of the workforce

OLYMPIA, WA — Washington state’s economy is challenged by persistent gaps in availability of affordable child care. According to the Washington Child Care Collaborative Task Force, lack of access to affordable child care keeps over 133,000 potential workers out of Washington’s labor force. The effects ripple through Washington’s economy, resulting in an estimated $14.7 billion less in personal earnings, $56.8 billion less in business output, $34.8 billion lower Gross State Product, and over $1 billion in lost tax revenue annually.

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Percentage of families in areas that lack child care by county. Data from the Child Care Task Force 2020 Child Care Industry Assessment Report (Aug 2020).

A new report from…


Comprehensive plan details the policies necessary to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, grow the clean energy economy and ensure competitive energy prices

The Washington State Department of Commerce today released the 2021 State Energy Strategy, identifying a comprehensive set of policies and actions to ensure competitive energy prices, foster a clean energy economy, and meet the state’s science-based greenhouse gas reduction limits.

“Governor Inslee and the Legislature have established Washington state as a leader in the global transition to a clean energy economy. …


New rules put state on path to greenhouse gas emission-free electricity by 2045

Washington state has passed another milestone on the path to 100% clean electricity. The Washington State Department of Commerce and Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) adopted administrative rules for implementation of the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), the state law passed last year requiring an electricity supply free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

The UTC and Commerce adopted the rules late last week after 18 months of work with stakeholders who represent the interests of residential and business customers, environmental and labor advocates, low-income and…


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The COVID-19 pandemic barreled in to 2020 like a wrecking ball. As a relatively small state agency with about 370 employees who lead nearly 100 programs related to economic and community development, every team within the state Department of Commerce was called in to the response in some way.

The pandemic didn’t cause just a public health crisis, but an economic crisis as well. Nationally and in Washington state, entire sectors were shut down as officials tried to contain the deadly virus. To help blunt the economic fallout of the pandemic, the governor’s office released millions of dollars in emergency…

Washington State Department of Commerce

Washington State Department of Commerce official news and information. Our mission is to strengthen communities in our state.

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