Okanogan PUD rates increased as of April 1

Courtesy Okanogan County PUD

OKANOGAN - The Okanogan County PUD commissioners approved new electric rates, effective April 1. The rates reflect the 3.75% overall revenue increase approved in last year’s budget process.
Electric rates
With construction and equipment costs rising rapidly and utility infrastructure aging out of service, the PUD has raised rates in recent years to fund regular maintenance.
Each customer class was adjusted individually, following the guidance of the cost of service study. The study showed that some classes need a higher increase than others in order to pay their full share of the costs incurred by providing electric service. Changes are proposed for both the basic monthly charge and the kilowatt-hour energy charge.
The average rate increase is approximate, and varies based on energy usage:
    •    Residential, 5%
    •    Small general service, 3.25%
    •    Large general service, 1.87%
    •    Industrial, 1.87%
    •    Irrigation, 2.5%
    •    Frost control, 10%
For 181 meters, the new rates also moves the $14.95 monthly basic charge for domestic wells under the residential basic charge of $39.95. Those accounts are not paying the full share of costs to provide power, and the PUD has no way of confirming that the meter truly only serves one residence’s domestic well.
Cost of Power Adjustment
The PUD purchases its power from certain contracts (with Bonneville Power Administration, Douglas County PUD and Energy Northwest) and the energy market. With two peak usage records set in 2021 (one in summer, one in winter), the cost of power was much higher and the PUD had to purchase more power to meet customer needs. The PUD’s cost of power adjustment (COPA) adjusts April 1 from $0.000600 to $0.003057 per kilowatt-hour.
More information and a rate calculator are available on the PUD website, okanoganpud.org.
In an earlier meeting on March 14 the board:
    •    Approved change orders for work on the Okanogan-Brewster transmission line project.
    •    Heard that the PUD paid its annual privilege taxes of just over $1 million to the state in February.
    •    Authorized the General Manager to execute a contract with McMillen Jacobs Associates for the Enloe Dam inspection, in an amount not to exceed $296,392.
    •    Set future board meetings for April 11 and 25; May 16; June 13 and 27; July 11 and 25; Aug. 8 and 22; and Sept. 12 and 26. They also set May 2 as a strategic planning workshop.

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