Financial Management, Load Growth to Keep Local Electricity Prices Stable into 2017
by Mason PUD 3 on
November 22, 2016
No local electricity rate increase is budgeted in 2017 for Mason PUD 3 customers.
(SHELTON, WA) – No local electricity rate increase is budgeted in 2017 for Mason PUD 3 customers. That’s the message in today’s adoption of PUD 3’s $67 million budget for next year.
The PUD expects increased sales of energy because of improving economic forecasts and new users of energy coming online throughout 2017.
Some items of note in next year’s budget:
- The budget is zero-based, meaning PUD staff started from scratch, with every function analyzed for its needs and costs.
- PUD 3 worked diligently to manage costs on the operations side of the budget to avoid a 2017 increase.
- The PUD will spend at least $2.5 million in 2017 to meet requirements of Washington State's renewable energy law. This includes power purchases and conservation programs. The amount of qualifying renewable energy as a part of power purchases goes from 3% percent, to 9% percent.
- The budget for payment of Washington State and City of Shelton taxes has increased. It is directly related to an expected growth in the sale of energy.
- Other items throughout the budget are natural fluctuations in the cost of goods and services.
PUD 3 purchases nearly all its wholesale electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration. The PUD and its utility partners worked closely with BPA to persuade the agency to be more frugal with its operations and more sensitive to the financial impacts its prices have on local communities.
In October of 2017 BPA will increase its wholesale rates about four percent, with a one percent increase in transmission costs (the cost to transport high voltage electricity from Columbia River Dams to Mason County).
PUD 3 will be conducting financial analyses throughout 2017 as part of an ongoing process to ensure its rates support the most reliable, economical and safe service possible for its customers.
Mason PUD 3 includes about 600 square miles of service territory, with nearly 33,000 electricity customers. PUD 3 also operates a wholesale fiber optic telecommunications network, which supports the operation of its electric distribution services.