Douglas County PUD electric rates are determined by comparing the expected electricity need in Douglas County to expected operating and capital costs.
Your clean, renewable power supply comes primarily from the Wells and Rocky Reach Hydroelectric Projects on the Columbia River. Your District’s share of the output provides more than enough electricity to meet Douglas County’s needs. Any excess power is sold to other utilities. The proceeds of those sales pay for a portion of the District’s operating and construction costs to hold down the amount Douglas County electric consumers have to pay. We put the balance in a savings account to use in those years when there isn’t so much water available for generation ("dry years"). 2009 and 2010 were dry years. On top of that, wholesale power prices have been depressed as a result of the recessionary economy and oversupply of energy. The result is a heavy draw on the Douglas PUD savings account.
In late 2009, the Commission approved a six percent rate increase for all rate schedules effective January 1, 2011. Many spending cuts and deferrals have been implemented. However, the combination of prior years inflationary pressure, low wholesale power prices, savings account decline, low interest earnings, and the need to maintain your District’s bond rating results in a continued need for rate adjustments. The average monthly impact of a 6% increase for a residential customer is about $3.00. Rates will be evaluated again early in 2011 and during preparation of the 2012 budget.
Douglas PUD still offers some of the lowest retail electric prices in the United States. Your PUD remains committed to providing you safe and reliable utility services at the lowest possible cost consistent with sound business principles.
A copy of the rates currently in effect is provided for your use. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.
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