Yesterday we told you about the bond rating service Moody’s correcting the rating of the PUD from A3 to A1. That affects $8.6 million in PUD bonds. According to a press release from Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. the rating was changed because it was originally based on ratings for utilities that generate most or all of their own power, and thus have more potential liability and expense. The release said Northern Wasco PUD is closer to a distribution only electric utility profile, since less than 20% of the utility’s power is sourced from directly or indirectly owned self-generation. The utility’s generation resources have generated power equivalent to roughly 13% of its annual load since 2007.
The last rating action for Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District, OR was on December 1, 2004 when the A3 municipal rating was assigned.
Now the PUD has added its own release, which you can read below:
THE DALLES, OR – Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the A1 rating on Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District revenue bonds. After analyzing the PUD’s strengths and potential challenges, Moody’s concluded that debt associated with the PUD should be rated at the higher A1 level rather than A3, which is two tiers below A1. The Moody’s report states that the PUD has healthy financial metrics and will continue to exhibit financial strength. It notes that PUD’s local utility board has not raised rates in ten years, but that it is currently considering rates that will ensure sound finances as BPA rates increase in the future.
Northern Wasco County PUD General Manager Dwight Langer is pleased with the news and stated that “the PUD has worked very hard to be a good steward of the community-owned electric system and appreciates Moody’s recognition of these efforts. The A1 rating is a milestone for the PUD that demonstrates financial strength for the future and reflects positively on the whole community of The Dalles and Wasco County.”