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We may miss heat if PUD rate rises

Monthly electric rates could increase as much as 7 percent in October for Clallam County Public Utility District customers, said Commissioner Hugh Haffner.

Clallam PUD buys its electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration, which just announced a 7-percent wholesale rate increase effective Oct. 1.

Typically, the ensuing retail rate increase ends up about half of the wholesale rate increase, but that might not happen this time.

"I hate to do it, I know people are hurting. We've absorbed it the last couple of years," Haffner said.

Public hearings will be scheduled later this year. Any retail rate increase would take effect Oct. 1.

Clallam PUD serves about 28,500 electricity customers in Sequim, Forks and the unincorporated areas of Clallam County, plus the Port Townsend Paper Corp. mill.

The district charges its residential electricity customers a $15 flat monthly rate, plus 6.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy used.

So an average residential customer using 1,500 kilowatt-hours a month pays the $15 flat rate plus $93 for daily energy use or a total of $108 a month.

Clallam PUD last increased its electricity rates in April 2008 by an average of 5.5 percent.



Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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