The Benton PUD Commission will consider raising electric rates an average of 3.9 percent starting Sept. 1.
It would be the first rate increase in more than three and a half years. A rate increase was considered by the commission in spring 2013, but rejected.
Instead, the public utility commission staff started a multi-year project to look at rates. It included forming a panel of customers to gather feedback and using a rate consultant to develop a new cost of service analysis model.
The model shows a need for an overall 5.9 percent increase in revenue. However, after reviewing the financial forecast, PUD staff are recommending a 3.9 percent overall rate increase effective Sept. 1, primarily to meet the PUD’s increased costs for purchasing power.
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Specific proposed rate increases for different types of customers, including residential and small business customers, to meet the 3.9 percent total increase should be available this week.
The staff will present its rate recommendations to the commission at the commissioners’ 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting at 2721 W. 10th Ave., Kennewick. A meeting to explain the proposal to the public and hear comments will be at 6 p.m. May 5 at the same address.
The commission could take action on the proposed rate increase at its May 26 meeting.