Chelan PUD Board Approves 2018 Budget, Includes No Rate Increase, Major Dam Improvements

The Chelan County PUD board of commissioners approved the utility’s 2018 budget yesterday. It includes no electric rate increase – for the sixth year in a row, as well as funding for major work on turbines and other capital improvements at Rock Island and Rocky Reach dams, continuing to pay down debt and funding existing Public Power Benefit projects. Since 2000, Chelan PUD electric rates have gone up nine percent, while the consumer price index has risen by 39 percent.
However commissioners noted the streak of flat electric rates will end, as the District evaluates declines in revenue from out-of-state electricity sales in the long-term. Plus electrical use in Chelan County is growing faster than the national average. John Stoll, Customer Utilities managing director, reported inquiries related to cryptocurrency mining have spiked as the price of Bitcoin has rapidly increased. He said staff receives more than 20 calls in a week. Stoll said aging substations need to be replaced and new ones added, plus other grid upgrades, to meet that growth.
Joining Dan Langager on the KOHO Morning Show are PUD Commissioner Ann Congdon and Customer Utilities Managing Director John Stoll.

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