Benton PUD customers will see about a monthly $7 jump in their 2011 power bills with a rate increase approved this week by the power company's board.
The increase is driven by a hike in the cost power from the Bonneville Power Administration next year. The PUD also is losing money it once made from selling cheap BPA power on the open market.
The utility district, which serves Kennewick, will boost rates for residential customers by an average of 7.9 percent on Jan. 1.
The PUD also announced it is using furloughs and pay increase delays for non-bargaining employees and management to save money.
The rate jump is part of a series of increases that are forecast to total more than 30 percent in the next five years.