Rate Increase Effective
In July, Bonneville Power Administration announced a regionwide rate increase to both its power and transmission services. This increase resulted in an increase to Wasco Electric of 9.2 percent for power and 9.3 percent for transmission services.
The increase in wholesale rates stems from higher costs to operate and maintain the aging hydro system, higher long-term fish and wildlife costs, upgrades to an aging transmission system and reduced revenues from surplus power sales due to lower market prices for energy.
Following much deliberation and review with staff of the financial forecast and revenue requirements of the co-op during the past few months, the board of directors, at the regular September board meeting, approved an 8 percent overall rate increase to all rate schedules of the cooperative, effective with the November 2013 billing.
The rate increase is intended to cover the increased costs from BPA to its wholesale power and transmission rates, cover the cost of debt service to the loans for the system rebuilding during the past several years, maintain reasonable cash reserves, retire accrued margins, and pay for increased costs of goods and services to the co-op.
We understand the hardships and frustrations many of our members face, but we must make responsible financial decisions for the overall well-being of the cooperative and continued reliability of the electric system for today and into the future.
Increasing costs make energy efficiency more important than ever. We will continue to encourage our members to take advantage of our energy-saving incentive programs. The smarter we are about our energy use now, the less power we will need in the future.