PUD rate increase set for April 1

Clallam County PUD customers are about to get a bump in their electric bills.

Utility district staff are reminding area residents to expect an average of a 3.8-percent increase in their bills on or after April 1.

The increase equates to about $4.48 per month for the average PUD residential customer using 1200 kWh per month, PUD officials say. The average bill — $114.29 — would rise to $118.77.

PUD commissioners approved the rate increase at their Dec. 12 meeting.

The most significant factor in rate increases, PUD officials say, is Bonneville Power Administration rates. Accounting for about 43 percent of the overall PUD budget, BPA increased its rates to area utility districts by about 6 percent in October 2015. For that increase, PUD staff and commissioners decided to divide this rate impact over the course of two years instead of one, seeking to provide stable rates.

Weather is responsible for almost all Clallam County PUD usage and revenue variations, according to Michael Howe, PUD communications and government relations manager.

Since 2014 the peninsula has seen warmer than usual weather, resulting in decreased PUD revenues. Other rate pressures include Bonneville Power Administration’s wholesale rate increases, added costs of meeting the mandates of Washington’s Energy Independence Act and personnel costs that include escalating healthcare costs as a result of federal legislation, he said.

For additional information about the PUD, visit www.clallampud.net.

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