Projects don’t pay off for customers

In the Sunday letter, “No decision made on Sunset Falls,” PUD Commissioner Aldrich took the opportunity to share his support for the incumbent commissioner from the South Snohomish County area in the upcoming election. Mr. Aldrich made it clear that he is comfortable with the current makeup of the PUD Commission instead of having Mr. Teegarden elected to a six-year term. Mr. Aldrich tried to hide his involvement in the upcoming election by taking a broad swipe at how Mr. Teegarden might vote on one of the current projects being considered by the PUD.

How Mr. Teegarden will vote on any project or issue is probably better left for Mr. Teegarden to answer. Perhaps some face-to-face debate between Mr. Teegarden and the incumbent would be beneficial. Debates could open the incumbent’s 18-year record with the commission for review. Debates would, of course, provide Mr. Teegarden the opportunity to show PUD customers why it might be time to change the make-up of the PUD Commission.

It probably makes things easier for the current PUD Commission and upper management to set policy to spend customer dollars for projects of dubious benefit to the average customer. Mr. Aldrich mentioned recent “annual records for energy conservation acquisition and pioneered development of solar energy, tidal power, and geothermal.” All these accomplishments might lead one to think about the actual savings provided by those projects to each customer. What are those savings?

Maybe a better campaign approach for re-election might be to provide PUD customers with the dollars each customer has saved during the incumbent’s tenure. If the Mr. Aldrich’s assertions are to be believed, this task should be easy.

Have customer electric bills decreased? Have electric rates decreased? What are the specific benefits to the customer for each completed or abandoned project? How many hundreds of thousands of dollars have been lost to ill-conceived projects or policy decisions? What are the consequences of failed projects to the customer? What has been the position of the incumbent on both “good” and “ill-conceived” projects?

Ignacio Castro, Jr.


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