Klickitat PUD will be holding a 2021 budget and electric rate hearing next Tuesday, December 8 at 3:00. Due to pandemic restrictions, the public hearings will be open to the public via WebEx or phone, but not in person. Information on participating in these hearings will be posted on our website at www.klickitatpud.com today.
Using the WebEx platform, we plan on running through a presentation on the proposed 2021 budget and then a presentation on an electric rate increase proposal of 1.5% for all rate components in all rate classes. After these presentations from staff, the Board will hear public comment and take those comments into consideration before taking any action.
For a bit of background, we did not have any electric rate increases in 2017, 2018 or 2020. We did a 1.5% increase in 2019. The proposed 1.5% increase for 2021 would be effective April 1, 2021 if approved by the Board.
There are many cost drivers and wholesale power costs from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is one of them. They are still in their rate setting process, which will continue into next year. I have heard that there was a radio news item that mentioned BPA will not be increasing power rates in
2021. This differs from what we are hearing from BPA. We have heard from BPA directly that they are currently forecasting that while their costs for power may not increase, the costs for transmission service, which is the cost of poles and wires, may increase as much as 17%. Fortunately, the transmission component is only about 10% of our bill from BPA. Our preliminary analysis of this new information suggests our costs for the power and services we purchase from BPA will increase, but the impacts may be less than thought when the budget and rate proposal was put together last week. We will continue to refine this before our rate hearing next Tuesday and we will make the appropriate adjustments for Board consideration next Tuesday.