The Snohomish County PUD will not be raising rates. (Herald file)

The Snohomish County PUD will not be raising rates. (Herald file)

Snohomish County PUD cancels energy rate increase

Electrical costs were set to rise by 1.3 percent in April.

EVERETT — A month before electrical rates were set to rise, the Snohomish County Public Utility District canceled the planned 1.3 percent increase.

The PUD changed course “based on stronger than expected financial results in 2018 and internal cost control measures,” according to a press release.

At the end of 2018, the PUD was left with more in the budget than was originally predicted, due in part to increased energy sales and larger-than-budgeted returns on investments.

“It came through that we had a surplus of roughly $13 million so no increase rate was needed,”said Aaron Swaney, a PUD spokesman.

A focus on controlling internal costs also saved about $4 million in 2018, according to Swaney. That included limiting new hiring, lowering medical benefit premiums, hiring fewer outside consultants and decreasing employee travel.

“Cutting costs internally is one of the reasons there’s not a rate increase,” Swaney said.

In recent years, rate increases generally have been scheduled every other year, according to Swaney. The PUD board has not ruled out increasing rates in 2020.

“Our customer count is climbing dramatically, but electric usage has stayed flat,” Swaney said. “We are getting more customers and building more infrastructure for customers, but our revenue from energy sales has been relatively flat.”

The residential rate will remain at 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour.

If the rate increase had happened, a household that uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would have paid about $12 more per year starting in April.

The PUD serves about 352,000 electric customers and 20,000 water customers across a service area of 2,200 square miles that includes all of Snohomish County as well as Camano Island in Island County.

In 2019, the PUD expects to add approximately 3,600 new customers.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Clyde Shavers, left, and Greg Gilday.
Shavers wins by narrow margin as Dems flip seat in 10th District

Democrat Clyde Shavers won by 211 votes against incumbent state Rep. Greg Gilday. It’s close enough for a recount.

Arlington
Edmonds man hospitalized after shooting in Arlington

The man, 30, was found Monday night in the 500 block of N. Macleod Avenue after reports of an assault.

A snow plow clears snow off of 92nd Avenue West on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Another dusting, with more snow on the way in Snohomish County?

Light snow showers hit the area Friday morning. Another system was coming in the evening. And yet another next week.

Lisa Lefeber, CEO of the Port of Everett, speaks to a crowd while in front of a sign celebrating the opening of the new Norton Terminal on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Port of Everett christens new Norton cargo terminal

The $40 million terminal took two years to complete and doubles the port’s storage capacity.

Permit tech Sheyenne Morton and residential plan reviewer Ryan Hammer help a general contractor with some permit work at the Everett Public Works permit office Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Budget dips, but Everett city union workers in line for 7.5% pay bump

The city’s general government fund could drop $1 million. City leaders say the current path is not sustainable.

Snow lingered outside the office building of Receivables Performance Management on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood data breach exposed sensitive info for 3.7 million across US

Lawsuits allege lax security at a debt collection agency led to the attack. It wasn’t announced for over a year.

The Washington State Patrol was investigating a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles Thursday on Highway 530 near Oso. (Washington State Patrol)
1 killed, 1 injured in crash east of Arlington

There was no detour for several hours Thursday afternoon as detectives investigated the four-vehicle collision.

Teen killed in Everett crash, shooting identified

No arrests have been made in the Friday night killing of 17-year-old Gabriel Kartak, of Seattle.

The crab doughnut at Market in Edmonds is a strange delight, with a sweet and dense glazed doughnut topped with bright and briny dungeness crab salad, nutty browned butter and a shower of smoky bacon bits. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)
This idyllic dining destination is right in Snohomish County

Edmonds boasts fresh seafood, Caribbean-inspired sandwiches, artisan breads, cocktails and more.

Most Read