Update as of March 2016
|2016 Rate Increase Facts|
The Emerald PUD Board of Directors approved the 2016 budget with an average 4 percent rate increase. The decision to structure the rate increase with the electric system charge increasing $3 (from $20 to $23) and a usage charge increase (from $0.0783 per kWh to $0.0796 per kWh) came after review of proposals by the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Rates and after a public hearing to consider any public comment or concern. The increase will become effective May 1, 2016 and will increase the bill of the average residential Customer-Owner an additional $4.69 per month.
The residential electric system charge will increase from $20 to $23 and
the residential usage rate will increase from $0.0783/kWh to $0.0796/kWh.
Emerald PUD’s rates remain 15.4 percent lower than our predecessor, Pacific Power, and our electric system charge is mid-range to what other local utilities charge (from $12.50 to $45).
Why are rates increasing?
The cost of buying power from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is the largest expense item Emerald PUD has. BPA raised their rates up by 6 percent in October. When BPA increases their rates, power becomes more expensive to buy and we must also raise rates. The cost of maintaining our District’s distribution facilities is also increasing due to higher equipment prices and supply constraints. Additionally, we are receiving lower revenue from sales of surplus power due to a weak wholesale market. While we try to keep our rates as low as possible, all of these factors combined mean a rate increase is necessary.
Why is the Electric System Charge increasing?
An Electric System Charge is a fixed charge covering a portion of the utility’s costs that occur regardless of energy use. All customer-owners pay an electric system charge that supports fixed costs such as meter reading, maintenance, billing, repayment of long-term debt and general administration. The increase in the electric system charge is an effort to bring it more in line with our actual fixed costs. You can read more detailed information about specific account types in our Rate Schedule document.
The bottom line… Emerald PUD works hard to avoid rate increases, but cost pressures make it unavoidable. As a nonprofit public power entity, Emerald PUD provides power to you AT COST. We raise rates only when necessary to cover the cost of providing power. Rate increases have been an unfortunate trend region-wide.