Manager’s Message – December 2023

Rate Adjustment Needed in 2024

Roger Kline Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District’s mission is to provide reliable, competitively priced energy and related services that benefit our customers in the tradition of public power.

We understand electric rate increases may adversely affect our customers and are an important element of their budget planning. Similarly, NWCPUD must review, plan, and adjust its budget to reflect the revenues required to recover costs and ensure financial health. Since the last rate increase a few years ago, NWPCUD’s costs, like many of yours, have increased.

NWCPUD staff—in partnership with EES Consulting, a professional services firm— performed a cost-of-service analysis to analyze increased costs from energy suppliers, debt service on capital improvement bonds, cash reserves required by bond covenants, and the increased costs of labor, materials, goods, and services.

Based on the results of the COSA, current rates are not adequate to cover expenses and financial obligations. The COSA further revealed revenue levels allocated to our customer rate classes require adjustments by different amounts based on the electrical energy use of each class.

This information was shared with our board of directors at the October and November meetings and is available for your review at  “Our Meetings and Agendas page.” The board of directors and staff are committed to maintaining the safe provision of electric service to all customers and are cognizant of making small rate adjustments periodically, as opposed to larger, more impactful increases that can be shocking to all our budgets.

NWCPUD electric rate changes have been below the rate of inflation during the previous decade, and we are committed to maintaining that trend.

Also worth noting, our average residential bills—even with a proposed increase of 3 percent to 4 percent on average—are among the lowest in the Pacific Northwest.

Once finalized, a comprehensive rate summary with specific changes will be sent to all customers and posted to our website. Rate actions do not go into effect until May to ensure a rate increase does not exacerbate higher winter consumption.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we work diligently on your behalf.

Manager Roger Kline