Columbia REA rates to go up average of 7.5%

Walla Walla Union-BulletinDecember 20, 2013 

WALLA WALLA -- Power bills for Columbia Rural Electric Association customers will be higher at the start of the new year.

The electric cooperative will begin 2014 with a rate increase, operators say.

Although the increase will vary by class of service, the overall average among residential, commercial and irrigation users is 7.5 percent. The co-op's website says the result will be about a $10 bump per month for the average residential user.

However, Scott Peters, Columbia REA's marketing and member service manager, said the calculation is closer to $9.50.

The co-op's board of directors approved the increase in October. The raise, operators said, is driven by the cost of wholesale power from Bonneville Power Administration.

As of Oct. 1, BPA wholesale power costs jumped 6.9 percent and transmission costs increased 9.3 percent.

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