Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Okanogan PUD approves 2023 budget, considers new rates


OKANOGAN – The county PUD commissioners approved the 2023 budget at their Nov. 14 meeting. The budget includes revenues of $69.5 million, expenditures of $55.8 million and capital of $16.2 million. The board also discussed possible ways to adjust rates for an average 3.75 percent increase overall, although new rates have not yet been approved.      

Among the big capital projects for next year, the largest is focused on rebuilding the Tonasket substation, estimated around $5 million in 2023. Designing a new Loup-Loup transmission line ($350,000) and replacing infrastructure in Aeneas Valley ($357,000) are also on the list. The final budget is posted on the PUD’s website,

The board also reviewed a first look at possible new rates, including a new rate for commercially operated electric vehicle fast-charging stations. Following the ongoing equity management plan, the proposed rates are adjusted differently to reflect the actual cost of service to each customer type. The overall 3.75% increase is proposed to be applied:

  • Residential, 5.1% (also continuing to merge the two-tiered rate into a single rate)
  • Small general service, 3.25%
  • Large general service, 1.25%
  • Industrial, 1.25%
  • Irrigation, 2.5%
  • Frost control, 5%
  • Area lighting, 1.25%
  • Street lighting, 1.25%

Commissioners will continue rate discussions at future meetings. The new rates would not go into effect until April 1, 2023.

In other business, the board approved its five-year strategic guidance, identifying five priorities for the PUD:

1. Safety First

2. Ensure electrical and broadband system reliability

3. Ensure financial stability

4. Value its employees

5. Serve the community



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