No PUD rate increase included 2023 budget

The Grays Harbor PUD announced that customers will not see an increase in electricity rates in 2023.  

This week, the PUD Board of Commissioners approved the utility budget for the coming year and the spending plan will not include an increase in rates.  

This follows the September announcement by the Grays Harbor PUD that they were not planning to budget for a rate increase in 2023, and the announcement this week that the Bonneville Power Administration intended to keep power and transmission rates flat.

Those BPA rates paid by Grays Harbor would have been passed onto customers. 

According to the PUD, they thanked a strong finish for operating revenues in 2022, the expiration of the 20-year contract with the Frederickson Natural Gas plant, and weather forecasts calling for a cold, wet winter, which has staff confident that a rate increase will not be needed in 2023. 

“A lot of people are struggling right now with rising costs.  I hope knowing that energy rates are staying the same for the next 12 months can provide a little relief,” said General Manager Schuyler Burkhart.

The utility capital budget of $11.5-million will be based on maintaining and replacing existing energy and telecommunications infrastructure and responding to customer requests, while over 65% of the PUD’s operating costs will go to purchasing reliable and nearly completely emission-free energy. 

“It took a long time to build the solid financial foundation on which the PUD now sits and our customers rely on us to maintain responsible spending by focusing on needs rather than wants,” said Board President Jon Martin.  “Safety, responsibility, reliability, and affordability are the hallmarks of public power and those values are represented in the budget that will lead the PUD in the coming year.”

In their release, the PUD states that overall, the $123-million budget continues their mission of “quality service at the lowest practical cost” by focusing on the purchasing, transmission, and distribution of the energy.