Clallam PUD warns of possible rate increases

Sequim Gazette

The Clallam County Public Utility District is concerned about possible wholesale power rate increases coming from the Bonneville Power Administration.


Executive Communications Coordinator Michael Howe said at a Jan. 31 meeting that BPA has announced its power rates could increase by 12 percent in October 2013.


“Generally they shoot high and end up lower,” Howe said, adding the rate increases go through a public hearing process.


There’s also a chance the BPA will implement a cost-recovery adjustment in October 2012 if revenue is down, he said.


While it still is unknown how much or when wholesale power rates could increase, the PUD wanted to let customers know well ahead of time, Howe said.


In December 2011, the PUD Board of Commissioners passed a 3-percent electric rate increase to the daily user charge, which equalled about $3.30 per month for residential customers.


During the 2012 budget planning process, PUD staff had to account for a wholesale power rate increase from the BPA of about 8 percent and an additional $860,000 in Energy Independence Act renewables and conservation costs.


To help meet conservation targets, the PUD sent out 20,000 boxes containing five compact fluorescent lights to customers, Howe said.


Paid for by PUD funds designated for conservation, Howe said the bulbs are the most cost-efficient way to meet Energy Independence Act mandates.


Most customers appreciate the bulbs, though some express concerns about mercury. If customers don’t want the bulbs, they can return them to the PUD, he said.


“We’d be happy to redistribute it to those who are interested in having them,” he said.


Reach Amanda Winters at


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