Emerald People’s Utility District board of directors voted Tuesday night to continue with its threetiered
rate system and directed EPUD staff to find solutions for customers with energy use in the
highest tier.

“This is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, we want to hold harmless the seventy-seven percent of
customers who have seen a rate decrease from tiered rates. On the other hand, we need to address
the valid concerns of customers hard hit by the third tier rate,” said Kevin Parrish, EPUD board
president.

The Board also directed EPUD staff to outreach to customers whose energy usage took them into the
third tier. “We want to know what we can do as a utility to help our customers use less energy,
especially in the winter, and avoid higher bills,” Parrish said.

The board decision follows several months of discussion between Emerald’s board, staff and
customers. This past January the board directed staff to convene EPUD’s Citizen Advisory Committee
on Finance and Rates to study the tiered rate system and its impacts on customers. Leading up to this
decision the committee met twice and provided recommendations to the board.

With tiered rates, energy usage charges increase with the amount of electricity a customer uses per
month. There are three tiers, or levels of usage, and each level has its own rate. They are:

  1. For usage of 1 to 600 kWh, the cost is $0.0696 per kWh. This is a one cent reduction to EPUD’s
    2017 rate.
  2. For usage of 601 to 1,800 kWh, the cost is $0.0796. This was EPUD’s flat rate in 2017.
  3. For usage of 1,801 kWh and above, the cost is $0.1089.