Power Rate Increase
Last month, the Bonneville Power Administration published its draft record of decision on the wholesale power and transmission rates for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, beginning October 1, 2017.
In this release, BPA announced a regionwide average increase of 5.5 percent in wholesale power rates and no increase in transmission rates, effective October 1, 2017. While this increase is fairly substantial, it is a significant improvement from the projected 9 percent increase BPA initially proposed last year.
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.
While the final record of decision on rates will not be released until late July, it is anticipated they will not differ much from the draft announcement. Therefore, we are moving forward and evaluating our future rate design based on these figures.
Wasco Electric management is conducting a revenue requirements and cost-ofservice study to help determine what our rates will need to be to cover the additional cost of power as well as the balance between covering our fixed costs through the energy charge versus the basic charge.
This fall, we will announce the final rate impact to the membership and when the increase will take place, likely as early as October 1.
I assure you that through this process, your board of directors and staff are committed to doing all we can to reduce the impact of rates to our members, yet still provide reliable service today and into the future.
As always, if you have any questions about your cooperative, please feel free to call or stop by the office.