Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners Approve New Residential Rate Structure

Date October 19, 2010 at 7:12 am | Topic: Local News

Aberdeen, WA – After seeking input from customers, the Grays Harbor Public Utility District (PUD) Board of Commissioners today approved changes to the residential rate structure. The changes will result in a very slight decrease (a few cents) in the bills of most customers with greater savings for those using the least amount of energy.  

 

The changes were in response to customer feedback on the current residential rate structure and are intended to do the following:

  • Ensure costs of the system are equally shared among residential customers
  • Structure the rate to ensure bills reflect every kilowatt-hour of energy used
  • Encourage energy conservation

 

The new rate structure only impacts residential rates. It will go into effect November 1st.


The residential rate structure is the design and organization of billing charges for residential customers. Currently customers pay a “customer charge” of $11 per month plus an energy charge of 6.98¢ per kilowatt-hour used. Customers who use 363 kilowatt-hours or less per month pay a flat monthly charge of $36.34 only. 

 

Under the new rate structure, all residential customers will pay a flat monthly “system charge” of $32.50 which will go toward maintaining the electrical system that serves homes (poles, wires, transformers, substations, staffing, materials, etc).  The energy charge will be divided into two rate tiers as follows:

 

1.     First 360 kilowatt-hours used:  1¢ per kilowatt hour

2.     Kilowatt hours used above 360:  6.98¢ per kilowatt hour (this is the current rate)

 

The changes address concerns raised by customers using 363 kilowatt-hours or less of power and paying the flat monthly fee. Customers in this group expressed concern that they do not have an incentive to conserve energy as they pay the same flat fee whether they use a single kilowatt-hour or 363 kilowatt-hours. In addition, customers in this group requested they be charged for only the kilowatt-hours of energy they use instead of paying a flat fee for use up to 363 kilowatt-hours. The revised residential rate structure addresses these two issues while ensuring the costs of the system are shared equally among all residential customers.

 

Prior to adoption of the changes, Grays Harbor PUD informed customers of the proposal through public workshops, the energy newsletter included in customers’ bills and the PUD’s website. Customers were asked to provide feedback through a survey.   

 

“We greatly value the thoughtful feedback provided by customers,” said Liz Anderson, Community and Government Relations Director for Grays Harbor PUD.  “The Board of Commissioners was looking at ways to address customers' concerns about the current rate structure and it was very helpful to hear back from customers on the proposal we developed.”

 

The new rate structure only impacts residential rates. It will go into effect November 1st.





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