1151 Valley Mall Parkway, East Wenatchee, WA 98802

509-884-7191 / 1-800-503-7990


November/December 2002 What is a PUD, Holiday Safety

November/December  2002

What is a PUD?

Public utility districts (PUDs) are municipal corporations of the State of Washington that may offer electricity, water, sewer and wholesale telecommunication service on a non-profit, cost-of-service basis. Douglas PUD offers electricity throughout Douglas County, wholesale broadband communication in areas adjacent to its communication network and water to residents of Withrow.  Today, twenty-eight PUDs serve more than 1.7 million citizens across the state.

Did you know each PUD is different?

There are 28 individual operating Public Utility Districts in Washington State. Each utility has a board of elected Commissioners who set policy for their PUD. Most boards have three Commissioners; two PUDs have five Commissioners. PUD Commissioners are selected by voters of the county served by the PUD in nonpartisan elections.  They serve six-year terms (four years for at-large members of five member Commissions).  

Douglas PUD’s three Commissioners hold weekly meetings. The meetings are open to the public.  Board Meetings are held every Monday at 2 p.m. in the East Wenatchee Headquarters building except for the second Monday of the month when the meeting is held in the Bridgeport office at 1:30 p.m.  In their meetings, the Commissioners establish District Policy including rates, fees, and service standards. They apply common-sense judgment to guide the utility manager in the direction of day-to-day District operations.  Policies vary from PUD to PUD based on local needs.

Why do PUDs exist?

PUDs were formed to combat the high electric rates charged by private utilities, provide electricity to rural areas where such service had been denied and provide water utility service to otherwise unserved areas.  These locally owned and managed Districts typically endeavor to provide the best possible electric service at the lowest possible cost, consistent with sound business principles.  

Holiday Safety

The holiday season has arrived, and it’s time to decorate the house.  Before you hang holiday lights or put up a tree, Douglas PUD would like to offer some tips to ensure that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season:  

When decorating outdoors, keep ladders away from overhead power lines.

For outside decorations, use only those lights labeled for outdoor use.  

Keep Christmas tree lights away from the tree’s water supply.   

Never string lights while they are plugged in.  

Keep greenery safe and fresh with frequent watering.  

Keep paper, tinsel and water away from hot lights. 

Never put electrical lights on a metal Christmas tree.  

Inspect tree lights for cracked or loose sockets, exposed wires, and frayed, broken or scorched insulation.  

Don’t overload home circuits with too many plugs or lights and keep extra fuses on hand.  

Buy lights labeled by a testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL). 

Unplug cords before you go out or to bed.