No 2021 rate increase for Public Utility District customers

For the fourth year, power and water costs will remain stable for Snohomish County PUD customers.

EVERETT — For the fourth year in a row, the Snohomish County Public Utility District won’t raise rates for its customers.

It’s the first time since 2008 the utility has gone such a stretch without a rate increase.

“This past year has been a challenge for many of our customers and I’m glad that we’re able to deliver on our promise to bring affordable power to those we serve,” PUD general manager and CEO John Haarlow said in a statement.

The Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the 2021 budget, which holds rates at 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s in line with other Northwest utility rates, according to the PUD, and below the national average of 12.95 cents per kilowatt-hour.

There may be some small adjustments to the rate after the Bonneville Power Administration, which supplies power for the PUD, makes changes to its rates and passes along bill credits to PUD customers in late 2021.

“At this time, we anticipate rate increases beginning in 2022 based upon expected future adjustments from Bonneville Power Authority, which generates much of our power, and from inflationary pressures,” PUD Commissioner Sid Logan said. “We are optimistic that rate increases from 2022 (through) 2026 will be small.”

Tuesday’s budget approval also included an outlook for the utility’s water and generation systems. With long-term impacts from COVID-19 and declining industrial sales, the utility expects retail sales to decrease by about $5 million in 2021.

Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; jgsanders@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @sanders_julia.

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