Grays Harbor PUD budget planning includes no rate increases for residents

The Grays Harbor PUD says that residents are not anticipated to see a rate increase in 2024.

The Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners will consider a utility budget that does not include an increase when they look to approve a final budget.  

 “This is a wonderful piece of news to be able to deliver to our customers,” said Board President Arie Callaghan.  “At a time when costs seem to be rising for everything from gas to food, it’s great to be able to tell our customers that their energy rates will be staying the same.”

PUD Commissioner Jon Martin and Communications Director Ian Cope spoke to KXRO to first announce the news.

Finance Director Skolrood and General Manager Schuyler Burkhart credited conservative budget planning, favorable weather predictions, the expiration of long-term energy contracts, and the adoption of a new energy contract with Bonneville Power Administration as the reasons the utility will avoid an increase.

 “This is the result of prudent planning, sticking to a sound financial strategy, and adopting energy purchasing policies that meet the goals of our mission to the PUD customers, which is high value services at the lowest practical cost,” said Burkhart.  “By purchasing only the energy that we need from BPA and not selling excess energy on the open market, we risk less exposure to volatile power prices and increase the strength of the PUD’s financial foundation.  It also makes budget totals much more predictable, which is why we feel confident in moving forward without a planned rate increase.”

 In upcoming meetings, the board will be briefed on capital and departmental budgets of the PUD’s $115.9-million budget, with a target date for a board vote and final approval on November 20th.