ABERDEEN, Wash. - Grays Harbor PUD is expressing concern and disappointment in response to a proposal by the Bonneville Power Administration to raise power rates by 8.5% for fiscal years 2011-2012. The agency filed the proposal Thursday in the Federal Register.
The proposal launches the public process called a “rate case” which will set the rate for a two year period beginning October 1, 2011. The proposal would result in an estimated increase in power costs to Grays Harbor PUD of approximately $843,000 in 2011 (October 1-December) and more than $3 million in 2012.
“We are disappointed to see this level of rate increase proposed by BPA,” said Rick Lovely, General Manager of Grays Harbor PUD. “This would have a significant impact on what ratepayers pay for electricity and is especially concerning in light of the fact that BPA continues to pursue activities which are costly to public power and provide no benefit to customers of consumer-owned utilities,” he said.
"We are pleased to hear from BPA that the rate increase may be significantly lower than the originally proposed 9.4 percent," said Rick Lovely, General Manager of Grays Harbor PUD. "Knowing that many of our customers and our Board of Commissioners actively opposed the BPA rate increase, we are gratified to see indications of progress being made in right direction," he said. "While we won't know the final figure from BPA until July, we believe the utility is in a position to hold off on an increase. We won't know if an increase is necessary until we know BPA's final rate," said Lovely.
ABERDEEN, Wash. - Grays Harbor PUD plans to conduct a planned power outage that will impact the Summit Village Apartments (about 47 customers) located at 212 North “F” Street in Elma on Wednesday, January 4, 2012. The outage is planned to begin at 10am and last approximately four hours. The purpose for the outage is to repair an underground wire.
Customers within the planned outage area are advised to protect sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, and microwaves by unplugging those items and leaving them disconnected until power is fully restored. In addition, customers are advised that the length of the outage (4 hours) is an estimate and power could be restored at anytime. Therefore, please take necessary precautions if there are plans to do electrical work or repairs during that period of time.
ABERDEEN, Wash. - Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners approved immediate payment of $1,062,700 into the registry of Grays Harbor Superior Court in the Spradlin Rock case. The Board approved the payment stating the amount is “fair and reasonable” and “reflective of the work conducted by Spradlin Rock” in the wake of the December 2007 storm. The payment is in addition to about $1.5 million paid to Spradlin Rock in early 2008, and brings the total paid for the work to $2.56 million.
Meanwhile, the PUD is continuing to pursue an appeal of a recent jury decision that directed the PUD to pay Spradlin Rock about $4.2 million plus interest and attorney fees, maintaining that the contractor’s charges were “clearly inflated.” Spradlin Rock submitted invoices totaling about $5.9 million for the work.
ABERDEEN, Wash. - Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners are considering two preliminary capital budget options for 2013 presented by staff. The options include a $10 million spending plan and a slimmed down $7.5 million version. The capital budget pays for long term assets such as substations, trucks, poles, wires, and facilities. Funding for the budget may come from revenues, reserve funds, funds generated by the sale of low-interest bonds, or a combination of funding sources.
“The goal this year is to find the sweet-spot that will ensure the continued reliability of the system while minimizing the impact on rates,” said Rick Lovely, General Manager of Grays Harbor PUD. The two preliminary capital budgets prioritize projects, addressing immediate needs for equipment and infrastructure repair and replacements (high priority projects), investments in preventative measures and upgrades to update aging and outdated equipment (medium priority), and low priority projects for long range needs. The $10 million plan includes projects identified as high and medium priority with a few low priority projects while the $7.5 million plan funds mainly high priority projects with a few select medium priority projects.