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Commission Meeting Report 2024-05-07

Meaghan Vibbert

Public Information Officer

(509) 881-2221

News Release – May 7, 2024

Douglas County PUD Commissioners Ronald E. Skagen, Aaron J. Viebrock and Molly Simpson executed the following actions during the May 7, 2024 Commission meeting held at the District’s East Wenatchee office:

Commissioner Viebrock, John Bergstrom, Commissioner Simpson, Commissioner Skagen

Awarded John Bergstrom, Treasurer with his twenty-five year service award. Commissioner Skagen thanked John on behalf of the citizens of Douglas County for his many years of service. John thanked the Commission and talked about the different roles he has had. “1999 seems like yesterday. I have nothing but gratitude for the opportunity to work here.”

Approved rate setting guidelines for staff. Prior to setting rates, the Commission wanted to memorialize the principles used to set rates into the future. “PUDs were created to serve our local rural residents and businesses,” said Ron Skagen, PUD president. “As our communities grow, the commission wanted to protect the standards used to determine rates.” Those principles include:

  • Rate schedules shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations
  • Rate Schedules shall be established at least one year before becoming effective
  • Rate Schedules shall capture all costs necessary to provide reliable service to its customers
  • Rate schedules shall provide adequate reserves and rate stabilization funds
  • Rate schedules shall be guided by cost-of-service analysis but prioritize the wholesale power sales benefits from the Wells Hydroelectric Project to residential and commercial services
  • Large loads, present higher risk profiles than foundational customers and shall generally be served from the District’s Rate Schedule 4 – Energy Delivery Service to preserve the Wells Project electricity for future generations of Douglas County, in accordance with the purpose expressed in the PUD Authorization Act. (24-052)

Authorized rate adjustments to the Customer Service Policies. After careful consideration of the District’s current and future financial needs a staged rate increase on certain electric rate schedules is effective January 1, 2026 through 2030.The average residential customer would see an increase of around $3 per month, small commercial would increase an average of $6.40 per month. The generating capacity of Wells Dam allows Douglas PUD to sell excess generation, not needed to cover local load, at a higher market rate. That market revenue is used to keep retail rates lower for our local customers. As loads grow in county through electrification of transportation and economic development there will be less market revenue from wholesale power sales which will put pressure on retail rates. This process balances the charges in a fair, non-discriminatory, cost-based, predictable approach. (24-053)

Approved change order No. 3 to contract 22-57-W, spillway and spillway gate maintenance at the Wells Hydroelectric Project. Changes include labor, fabrication, installation and materials necessary for successful project completion. This will increase the contract $208,630. (24-054)

Authorized award of contract 24-15-D, orchard trellis removal at Azwell to The Soil Center at a cost not to exceed $263,000. (24-055)

Approved amendment to the Portland General Electric Power Purchase agreement. Revisions were driven primarily due to industry changes. (24-056)

Canceled the June 18, 2024 Commission meeting due to Commissioner schedules.

The next regular meeting of the Commission is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. May 21, 2024 at the District’s Wells Hydroelectric Project. 

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