Commission recap, 6/11/2024 — Grant PUD plans 'monster' summer library fun. More...

Grant PUD plans to spread some powerful fun throughout Grant County this year through the North Central Washington Libraries’ free 2024 Summer Program.

Annette Lovitt, Grant PUD Public Affairs Officer – Community Engagement, told the commissioners that the utility’s Public Affairs Staff plans to bring the Public Power Monster Detective interactive program to children throughout the county through their local libraries.

“We’re excited to share this fun program with area students and we’re looking forward to visiting them in their hometown libraries," Lovitt said. 

The Grant PUD Public Power Monster Detective Program schedule for public libraries includes:

  • Ephrata, 45 Alder St NW, June 25 at 2 p.m. 
  • Coulee City, 405 W Main St, June 27 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Grand Coulee, 225 Federal St., July 10 at 2 p.m.
  • Warden, 305 S Main St., July 11 at 4 p.m.
  • Moses Lake, 418 E 5th Ave, July 15 at 3 p.m.
  • Quincy, 208 Central Ave S, July 17 at 3 p.m.
  • Royal City, 136 Camelia St. NW, July 23 at 4 p.m.
  • Soap Lake, 32 E Main St, July 24 at 4 p.m.

Along with the library activities, Grant PUD Public Affairs is planning Grant PUD participation in local parades and summer events, including the Grant County Fair, which is Aug. 13 through 17.  Lovitt said Grant PUD plans to have a booth in the Commercial Building focused on customer conservation and low-income assistance programs. The utility will also focus on safety with the lineman safety demonstration trailer, and Grant PUD’s Cultural Resources Group also plans to have a Wanapum Native American demonstration. 

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Commission recap, 5/28/2024 — Grant PUD works to resolve audit findings. More...

(Note: Work continues on a new system for posting commission audio. When the audio is availble for this and previous meetings we'll post it and add timestamps in each respective recap. Sorry, again, for the delay.)

Grant PUD Commissioners learned Tuesday that the Washington State Auditor’s Office found three issues during a recent audit of utility’s compliance with the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) from Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2021. This was Grant PUD’s first compliance audit for CETA which was enacted into Washington state law on May 7, 2019.     

According to Thomas Bernard, of the auditor’s office, who spoke with the commissioners, there were three findings that will be documented in their report. Read the audit findings report here.

In the first finding, the auditor’s office determined Grant PUD did not perform and report to the state’s Department of Commerce required cumulative assessment of its previous energy assistance funding levels compared to those needed to meet its 2030 and 2050 energy assistance funding goals. Also, the utility did not include its plan to increase the effectiveness of its energy assistance programs and strategies in producing short-term and sustained energy burden reductions as required by CETA. 

In its response submitted to the auditor’s office, Grant PUD stated that it used a reporting template provided by the Department of Commerce believing it covered all the requirements. This method resulted in Grant PUD not submitting the required information as it was omitted by the Department of Commerce in the reporting template.  

Since the audit, Grant PUD has communicated with Commerce to define the reporting requirements and parameters. Additionally, Grant PUD has dedicated a CETA Program Manager to assist with compliance and program development. 

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Wallen will continue to lead Grant PUD

EPHRATA – Grant PUD commissioners announced today during their monthly workshop that Rich Wallen will remain as the utility’s Chief Executive Officer/General Manager. 

The commission had reluctantly accepted Wallen’s resignation on May 7 when he let them know he intended to take a position with Chelan PUD.  

Speaking for the entire board, Commission Vice President Terry Pyle dispelled rumors by asserting that the commission at no time asked for Wallen’s resignation and affirmed the commission’s support. 

“Rich has been a positive force for opportunity and growth in virtually every area of Grant PUD. His leadership has put us in the strongest financial position Grant has ever experienced,” he said in a prepared statement. “He has not allowed us to rest on the good work we are, and have been, doing for years. He has pushed us to prepare for the wave of change that is now on our doorstep. We are well on our way to solving the challenges that lie immediately in front of us.” 

He added, “So in the spirit of cooperation between Rich Wallen and the board, we are excited to announce Rich will continue to lead us on this voyage.” 

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Commission recap, 5/14/2024 — Irrigation rate could rebrand, expand for lower-cost ag power. More...

Note: We're still working through a new process for posting the commission audio. We'll add timestamps and audio as soon as we can. Very sorry for the delay.

Grant PUD’s Irrigation Service Rate 3 would be rebranded as “Agricultural Service” and expanded to include separate categories for electricity used for irrigation and other ag activities — if further study proves it financially viable.

Commissioners Tuesday got another look at the proposed revamped electric rate, intended to benefit Grant County’s farmers with lower-cost electricity.

The new rate would contain a “3a” classification for irrigation pumping and a “3b” classification for electricity used for growing crops, raising livestock and processing or storing ag products. 

Farmers for “3b-type” activities are now billed under Rate Schedules 2 and 7, for small and large commercial customers. These rate classes also include non-farm activity, including small retailers, big-box stores and supermarkets, who, unlike farmers, can generally pass their price increases on to consumers. 

Grant PUD will launch an info-gathering campaign to seek energy-use information from those customers who could qualify for the new agricultural rate. Results of the campaign will determine total energy needed to supply the qualifying customers, the financial impact of potential new rate and its cost.

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Commission recap, 4/23/2024 — Discussion continues about preferred rate for ‘ag services.’ More...

Note: The commission recording is delayed this week due to technical issues.We're working to get it posted ASAP.

Discussion continues about a preferred rate for 'ag services'

A lower electric rate for some ag-related activities beyond irrigation could become a new offering for county farms and ranches, as Grant PUD commissioners continue their ongoing discussion about how to improve the utility’s current rate-setting policy.

The proposed “Agricultural Service” rate would apply to electricity that powers certain non-irrigation ag activities, including growing crops, raising livestock and processing or storing agricultural products.

Many ag businesses’ non-irrigation electric service is currently billed under Rate Schedule 2 for General Service or Rate Schedule 7 for Large General Service. Both of these rate classes also include non-ag activities, ranging from small shops to big-box retailers, who can often pass cost increases on to their customers. Farmers usually can’t raise prices to compensate for cost increases. See Grant PUD’s full rate list here.

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How should Grant PUD set its electric rates? Tell us!

Join Grant PUD commissioners for a discussion about the unprecedented growth in electric demand this utility is facing and factors that should most influence the way we set our customers’ electric rates.

Learn more about the utility’s current “cost-of-service-based” rate-setting model. Share your ideas about any factors in addition to cost of service that would ensure our rates help support continued financial strength and contribute to the social well-being, agricultural competitiveness, and commercial and industrial stability of Grant County.

Be part of the conversation — in person or virtually — at one of these upcoming “rate strategy” meetings:

  • Ag customers — Tuesday, April 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Grant PUD headquarters, 30 C Street SW, Ephrata.
  • Small and Med-sized business customers — Tuesday, April 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Moses Lake Civic Center, 401 S. Balsam St. Moses Lake.
  • Residential customers — Tuesday, May 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Moses Lake Civic Center, 401 S. Balsam St., Moses Lake.
  • Rate-setting wrap up — Hear a summary of the feedback received across all customer groups from the previous meetings and learn commissioners’ next steps.
    • Tuesday, June 4, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Moses Lake Civic Center, 401 S. Balsam St., Moses Lake.

For a link to participate in these meetings virtually (via Teams video conference), please visit https://tinyurl.com/54be8e3n.

Questions? Contact Grant PUD Public Affairs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Commission recap, 4/9/2024: Grant PUD agrees to buy land for new Ephrata Service Center


Commissioners Tuesday unanimously authorized Grant PUD to purchase 34 acres from Grant County for $525,000 for a new Ephrata Service Center.

The parcel is near the Ephrata Walmart, south of State Route 282. The site is east of the old Ephrata Raceway property. Grant County has agreed to install a traffic roundabout at the nearby intersection of SR 282 and Nat Washington Way. The site was chosen over several other properties evaluated for cost, infrastructure, size, land use and constraints.

“This has been a work in progress for quite a while. I appreciate all the hard work from staff,” Commission President Tom Flint said.

The purchase is part of a long-term Facilities Master Plan to replace or upgrade various outdated Grant PUD buildings, including the Moses Lake Service Center and Ephrata Headquarters. The new center will meet Grant PUD’s needs 30 or more years into the future. Its design and location will provide better access, faster response times and more reliable customer service.

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Commission recap, 3/26/2024: Grant PUD sees success in collaborating with industry groups

Commissioners Tuesday learned how Grant PUD has been able to extend its message and priorities through power industry collaboration during a report given by Chuck Allen, Senior Manager of External Affairs and Communications and Annette Lovitt, Public Affairs Officer – Community Relations.

By participating with the American Public Power Association and Washington PUD Association, Grant PUD has been able to secure audiences with state and federal legislators to discuss legislative priorities that will help Grant PUD’s customers continue to have low-cost reliable power. Some of the topics include supporting hydropower and the Lower Snake River Dams, modernizing the Columbia River Treaty, streamlining the federal grant process to help public utilities make upgrades to the power grid, and creating more efficiency in the permitting process for new projects. 

In the past few years, there has been a greater emphasis in having the PUDs serving Grant, Chelan and Douglas counties collaborate to promote public hydropower with an aligned voice and legislative priorities. This has resulted in opinion pieces for regional news outlets originating from the general managers of the three utilities – Rich Wallen (Grant), Kirk Hudson (Chelan), and Gary Ivory (Douglas). The utilities have also worked together on events such as the Clean Energy Expo held last autumn, plus other educational and outreach programs. 

During the presentation, commissioner Terry Pyle asked if there was redundancy in the 20-plus associations that Grant PUD has joined. 

Allen explained that while that may seem to be the case on the surface, each association provides value and “serves their own niche.” He elaborated that while it may seem odd that Grant PUD is a member of Northwest RiverPartners and the Northwest Hydroelectric Industry, both organizations have different roles in promoting hydropower. Northwest RiverPartners is a research and educational association with a mission to help the public have a positive opinion about hydropower. While the Northwest Hydrorelectric Association has that as part of its mission, its primary purpose is to facilitate collaborative efforts between hydroelectric providers so they can improve their operations with technical workshops and peer education opportunities. 

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Commission recap, 3/12/2024 — Riding on 'Lightning.' More...

From left, Commissioners Tom Flint, Terry Pyle, Larry Schaapman and Judy Wilson return to Grant PUD’s Ephrata Headquarters after taking the District’s new all-electric Ford 150 Lightning for a spin

Riding on Lightning

Commission meeting day, March 12, was a beautiful, sunny one for a drive, especially in Grant PUD’s new all-electric Ford F150 Lightning, half-ton pickup. Commissioners piled in for a test drive and were impressed enough to reserve the truck to drive to an upcoming business meeting. The District paid $45,879, plus tax, for the crew-cab truck, which can carry 4-5 people and has a range between charges of approximately 300 miles.

Ford’s website for the Lightning says the truck can do 0-60 in less than four seconds — not that the commissioners will be exceeding the speed limit to get to their meeting.

Grant PUD Fleet Manager Brian Barrows said the District will put the truck through its paces in the coming months to gauge its practicality for the daily demands of on-the-job duty. The knowledge will help inform the potential addition of future electric vehicles to the fleet, which already includes two all-electric Chevy Bolts, used mostly for Customer Service-related travel.

Wholesale power revenues exceed projections

Commissioners learned during a preliminary fourth-quarter 2023 financial report given by the Grant PUD finance team that the utility’s wholesale power sales exceeded projections, which was the primary driver of the utility’s projected change in net position of $352.9 million at year’s end.

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Commission recap, 2/27/2014 — Fiber build, unit-rehab on track. More...

During their Feb. 27, 2024 meeting, Grant PUD Commissioners:

—  Heard from Aaron Kuntz, Senior Manager of the Enterprise Project Management Office that:

  • Work to upgrade the #6 turbine/generate unit at Priest Rapids Dam is currently 7 days ahead of schedule. The unit is now disassembled and will be rehabbed over the year. Rehab work is finished on five of the dam’s 10 units. All 10 units are planned to be rehabbed.
  • Buildout of the fiber-optic network to the remaining customers of Grant County continued through most of the winter and is on track to be finished by year’s end.
  • A contract to design and build a new Ephrata Service Center — a homebase for area line and electronics crews, warehouse, transportation shop, materials yard and more — was executed under the state’s “Progressive Design Build” process. The site of the new center has yet to be finalized. The existing center is aged and too small.
  • Grant PUD project managers are currently shepherding 34 projects related to Power Production, Enterprise Technology, Facilities, and Power Delivery through various stages of the project management process – initiation, planning, execution, and closing

See the full presentation on pages 40-63 of the presentation materials. Hear the discussion at 1:17:42 on the commission audio.

Heard that the finance and energy-supply-management teams are requesting commission approval for a proposal to protect Grant PUD from the volatile pricing on future electricity purchases needed to ensure a reliable electric supply for its customers

Grant PUD’s federal license to operate Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams entitles the utility to 63.31% of the dams physical generation of electricity and up to 30% of the financial (market) value of the generation from the dams.   The market value is realized through an annual auction process.  From the auction proceeds, Grant PUD receives cash to purchase power on the open market to serve its customers

Grant PUD expects in-county electricity demand will begin to outgrow the utility’s physical and financial share of the dams in 2026-2027. Grant PUD’s share of the financial value is $307 million for 2024. Based on forecasted market prices, next year’s total is estimated at $297 million. 

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Commission recap, 2/13/2024: Commissioners urge faster move toward new electric generation. More...

Commissioners Tuesday urged Grant PUD staff to move more quickly to acquire or otherwise build new generation to meet the energy needs of new and existing customers.

“We need more power. We’re costing our customers jobs,” Commissioner Nelson Cox said. Commissioners Tom Flint, Larry Schaapman and Terry Pyle expressed similar concerns.

Flint called for staff to take a new look at building a natural-gas-powered turbine generator to satisfy energy demand in the shorter term, until the utility can generate more of its own carbon-free power, whether it be via a small modular nuclear (SMR) plant or other resource. Lead time to get an SMR plant permitted, built and operational is approximately 12 years, he said.

“We’re going to need a resource quicker than that,” he said.

General Manager Rich Wallen said the natural-gas turbine could conflict with the state’s carbon-free-energy-supply goals, but staff would look into it.

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Grant PUD Commissioners: Thank you to our crews

Thank you, field crews, for your exceptional service

The recent snap of sub-zero temperatures, high winds and snow created brutally cold working conditions for all Grant PUD field crews, from the Line, Facilities and Transportation departments to substation operators, power system electricians, and relay and warehouse personnel.

We Commissioners say a collective “Thank you” for every sidewalk and parking lot cleared of snow, every vehicle that received extra attention, and for the long, frigid hours spent responding to scattered, weather-related outages and electric system repairs. Our crews have proven themselves to be tough. But their dedication and quality of work during the cold snap went way beyond tough. They showed us again, as they have many times in the past, a “get-it-done” attitude that truly reflects a sense of community and customer service.

We also wish to acknowledge all other employees who work in our power plants, service centers and offices, including powerhouse and system operators, for their efforts to ensure the challenges brought by the weather did not stop us from providing vital service to our customers.

Your work makes a difference. It makes us proud to represent this utility. So, again, on behalf of the entire Grant PUD Commission, we thank you!

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Commission recap, 1/23/2024 — Average 3% rate-revenue increase to begin April 1. More...

Commissioners Tuesday approved a 3% average increase to electric-rate revenue, effective starting April 1, 2024.

The increase will add an estimated $3.50 to the average monthly bill of a residential customer and just over $10 to the average monthly bill of a small business. Learn more about why a rate increase is necessary here.

“We’ve had quite a bit of discussion on this resolution,” Commission President Tom Flint said, referring to past, well-attended commission meetings and workshops, before calling for the vote.

Commissioners were unanimous on the need for a rate increase but differed over how to allocate the increase across customer groups. The approved average increase affects each rate class differently, depending on the cost to provide electric service to each customer group (see table, below). Commissioner Nelson Cox abstained. Commissioner Flint opposed, stating in past rate discussions that he instead favored an across-the-board, 3% increase for all rate classes.

The remaining three commissioners voted in favor of the average 3% increase, saying in past meetings that it was aligned with the existing, cost-to-serve-based rate-setting policy. They all intend to review and update that policy over the coming year.

The increase is needed to cover inflation-driven operational costs related to power generation and distribution, help fund necessary projects and ensure continued financial strength.

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Help Grant PUD by reducing your energy use

For immediate release:
Help Grant PUD by reducing your energy use 

Frigid temperatures throughout Grant County and the Pacific Northwest this past week have pushed energy use to record levels, strained many regional electric grids, and put a heavy draw on our region’s capacity to generate electricity.

Grant PUD is asking all our customers, including our large industrial customers and Grant PUD’s own facilities, to avoid the potential for local and regional outages by reasonably and safely reducing electricity use over the next 36 hours until outdoor temperatures warm. This is especially necessary during hours of peak energy use: Between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

How you can help?

— Reduce your building’s heat with thermostats set to a recommended 68 degrees.

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Commission recap: 'Takin' care of business in 2024. And more...

The band Bachman Turner Overdrive lit up the Roseland Ballroom stage in New York City a decade ago with a rockin’ performance of their classic anthem “Takin’ Care of Business” to a euphoric live audience. The band’s guest keyboardist — Paul Shaffer, of David Letterman Show fame — supercharged the song’s finale by tipping his electronic organ on its end, spinning it around so the keys faced the audience and playing it vertically. And that is exactly the YouTube video that Grant PUD Commission President Tom Flint chose to “set the tone” for 2024 at the year’s first commission meeting, Tuesday.

“After years of COVID, Grant PUD is back taking care of business. That’s my motivation to start the year,” said Flint, who is now into his 20th year as a Grant PUD commissioner and a time or three (at least) as commission president. During the business meeting, after lunch, Flint listed the following goals and objectives for 2024:  

  • Be good stewards of our resources. Our employees are our most valuable resource.
  • Continue and enhance our safety culture.
  • Improve our financial ratings and cost effectiveness.
  • Reduce our operating risk.
  • Preserve, protect and perpetuate the history of the Wanapum People and include the history of Grant PUD and the farmers, ranchers and rural residents who made it happen.
  • Further development and expansion should not be at the expense of our core power users.
  • Work to modify the utility’s current cost-of-service-based rate-setting policy, while following existing policy to avoid rate shock, make any rate increases small and predictable, and try to minimize any unintended consequences of rate changes.
  • Pursue other generating resources that are available around the clock, year-round, and are economically feasible, including small nuclear reactors paid for with longterm power contracts – much the way the construction of Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams were financed.
  • Support employment in Grant County and growing our own employees.
  • Completing the fiber buildout before the end of the year, as promised.

Hear Commissioner Flint announcing his objectives for 2024 at 2:45:18 on the commission audio.

Fiber staffers propose technology transition to a more cost effective and scalable network service

Grant PUD staff recommend transitioning the current “Active-E” ethernet technology for to-the-home fiber-optic service with industry standard “passive optical network” or PON technology for a more cost effective and scalable service with greater longevity.

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Commission recap, 12/12/2023 — Bond refi to save Grant PUD $7.4 million. More...

External Affairs shares outreach successes in 2023

The External Affairs Department shared highlights from their community outreach efforts in 2023 with the commissioners. One highlight was a national award for the PUD’s Fiber Dog video. The video received an Award of Merit from the American Public Power Association. The same video was named the Audience Choice winner out of more than 10 videos that were shown to attendees during the APPA’s Customer Connection Conference in San Antonio, Texas in November.

Chuck Allen, Senior Manager of External Affairs & Communications told the commissioners that the award was fitting recognition for the hard work of the Public Affairs staff, including Rosalie Black and Raquel Urbina, who developed the video in-house.  

Another highlight was the successful launch of Grant PUD’s 509River.org website the 2023 recreation season. Black explained that the website was developed to help the utility achieve a goal of having more people visit the lesser-known Grant PUD campsites and boat launches on the Columbia River. Black said the marketing campaign associated with the website showed about a 25% increase in campers at the Sand Hollow website in August and that she thought there would be even greater results there and at other target locations including the campsites at Rocky Coulee and Jackson Creek. 

Annette Lovitt, the External Affairs Community Outreach coordinator also told the commissioners that the department will be looking for more opportunities to participate in community events and activities in 2024 to help further the utility’s customer engagement and education goals for 2024. Hear the discussion at 4:09:35 of the commission audio and see page 39 of the presentation materials

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Commission recap, 11/28/2023 — New software, solid teamwork shave hours off turbine/generator rehab

Project managers are crediting teamwork and a new cloud-based tool for project scheduling, resource management and performance monitoring for shaving thousands of work hours off the rehab of a fifth turbine/generator unit at Priest Rapids Dam and finishing the big project 38 days ahead of schedule.

Rehab of the fifth of the dam’s 10 generating units required 88,000 work hours to complete, compared to 95,000 hours for the previous turbine/generating unit, Project Manager Eric Hull told commissioners. The Oracle software tool, Primavera, was responsible for a portion of the efficiency gain, combined with quality teamwork.

Rehab of a single unit requires more than 800 individual tasks, each requiring at least one day, he said. The tool allows managers and supervisors to better schedule and reschedule work crews to reduce down time due to unexpected supply chain and other delays.

Grant PUD launched the software two years ago, he said. The tool is widely used throughout the industry. The dam’s turbine/generator rehab project began in August 2016. The final five units are scheduled to be rehabbed by late October 2029.

“So, are we on schedule?” Hull rhetorically asked commissioners? “No. We’re ahead of schedule.”

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Commission recap, 11/14/2023 — 2024 budget approved w/funding to finish fiber buildout

Commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved a $347.2 million expense budget for 2024 that fosters continued financial strength, ensures continued reliable service for Grant PUD customers and completes a milestone, 24-year effort to make the Grant PUD fiber-optic network available to every resident of Grant County.

“Fiber for everyone who wants it was a commitment we made as a commission in 2000,” said Tom Flint, the board’s longest-standing member and a consistent fiber advocate. “At times, it didn’t seem as if we’d get there, but it sure looks like it’s going to happen by late next year. That’s good to see.”

The 2024 budget includes a rate increase. Commissioners continue working with staff to determine how much a rate increase is needed to maintain the utility’s financial health and how the increase will affect each individual rate class.

Future rate discussions will be scheduled to give customers ample chance for input before the new rates are expected to take effect on April 1, 2024.

Total budgeted expenditures in 2024 are 9.5% higher than the $317 million in total spending originally budgeted in 2023. The increase is driven by 7.3% increase in operations and maintenance expenses, from $188.2 million in 2023 to $201.9 million, and a 11.6% increase in capital spending, from $155 million in 2023 to $172.9 million.

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Commission recap 10/24/2023 — Rate-setting process will take all customers into account. More...

Grant PUD commissioners Tuesday told an audience that packed the Ephrata headquarters’ boardroom that their ongoing discussion over how to set electric rates and arrive at a rate increase for 2024 will take into account all the county’s economic sectors and ensure “core customers” are protected.

Commissioner Cox invited the audience to a commission workshop, Nov. 21, at 9 a.m. in the Grant PUD Ephrata Headquarters commission room for an in-depth discussion about rates.

Comments from Commissioners Tom Flint, Judy Wilson, Terry Pyle and Larry Schaapman reinforced their intention to represent all voters of Grant County, not just the industrial and ag sectors.

They added that industrial demand for electricity should not come at the expense of Grant PUD’s core customers — residential, irrigation, small and medium business and large commercial — billed under rate schedules 1, 2, 3 and 7. Core customers pay below cost for their electricity. Industrial customers pay above-cost for their electricity.

They called for a need to revise Resolution 8768, approved by the board in 2015. Based on a Grant PUD analysis of the cost to provide electricity to its different customer groups, the resolution proposed yearly rate adjustments to eventually arrive at the target “goal posts” that no customer group would pay less than 20% below its cost to serve, nor more than 15% above its cost to serve by Dec. 31, 2023.

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Commission recap, 10/10/2023 — Industrial and ag customers seek greater participation in rate discussion. More...

Members of two of Grant PUD’s largest power-consuming customer groups told commissioners Tuesday that they wanted more participation in commissioners’ ongoing discussion about how much to raise rates over the coming years and how the increases would apply to each ratepayer group.

“We’d like to be part of the wrestling match,” Dan Miller, spokesman for the Ag Power Users Group of Grant County told commissioners during the more than 60-minute discussion noted for its respect and cordiality. “It’s a question of you guys telling us your time frame, and we’ll come here and sit down and talk to you.”

“I appreciate the PUD holding this meeting today,” said Ryan Beebout, general manager for Sabey Data Centers, and a leader of the Grant County Industrial Alliance. “I appreciate the open dialog. I think we’ll get a lot farther and find a mutually beneficial solution if we have these open dialogs together. It’s good to see some collaboration between the industrials and ag.”

Central to the discussion is commissioners’ need to revise or replace a rate-setting policy, Resolution 8768, approved by the board in 2015. Based on a Grant PUD analysis of the cost to provide electricity to its different customer groups, the resolution proposed yearly rate adjustments to eventually arrive at the target “goal posts” that no customer group would pay less than 20% below its cost to serve, or more than 15% above its cost to serve by Dec. 31, 2023.

The resolution remains in effect, but commissioners four years ago agreed to depart from the resolution’s annual rate adjustments. Rates have not increased for four consecutive years.

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