April 10, 2010
Facing an expected 15 million dollar budget shortfall, Chelan County PUD Commissioners have decided to continue the 9 percent electric rate surcharge imposed last year. The budget crisis is being fueled by low power prices and below-normal river flows . The current 9 percent charge generated an extra $4.5 million in revenue to help ease last year’s budget shortfall of $15 million. In approving the surcharge Commissioners also delayed action for another year on a 2.5 percent rate increase. Commissioner Ann Congdon commented . In other action taken at Monday’s meeting Commissioners also adopted plans to sell “slices” of hydropower from the PUD’s Columbia River dams at market rates with contracts that could stretch out as long as five years. Longer-term sales at market rates are expected to bring in more reliable wholesale power revenues and reduce year-to-year fluctuations, helping to hold down rates for PUD customer-owners.