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Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

SnoPUD approves 2.1% rate increase

Budget includes $670 million for Sound Transit Lynnwood extension


Last updated 12/29/2021 at 10:04am

Get ready for a higher bill next year from the Snohomish County PUD, as its Board of Commissioners approved a 2022 budget that includes a 2.1% general rate increase.

According to PUD spokesperson Aaron Swaney, it's the first rate increase since 2017.

Swaney added that there will be more information when the rate increase is officially passed and rate schedule adjustments are locked in, expected next month.

The rate increase is scheduled to go into effect April 1.

That increase is actually lower than once proposed. The PUD was initially set to increase rate 2.5%, but implementation of internal cost control measures lowered that rate increase to 2.1 %.

"We have made it a priority to watch our costs closely and make sure that we are being good stewards of our ratepayers' dollars," said PUD general manager and CEO John Haarlow.

"This year's proposed rate increase is required to address increasing costs and significant investments in infrastructure and service modernization."

PUD's $670 million budget includes $28.6 million for the Sound Transit Lynnwood extension, and $34.5 million for Connect Up smart-meter program, among other expenses.

The PUD is set to also implement a new base charge in 2022. The base charge will be based on a customers' amperage and be between $2.50 and $3 per month.

The PUD's 2022 electric system budget came in at $670.3 million, an increase of about $10 million. The increase in the budget is mostly due to rising costs in purchased power and operating expenses. The PUD budgeted $325 million for power supply and $246 million for operations and maintenance.

Due to the county rebounding from the pandemic and the rate increase, the PUD's revenue is budgeted to increase to $624 million in 2022, Swaney said.

New customer connections are budgeted at 4,135 in 2022, an increase from the 2021 budget.

The PUD's Generation budget remains flat in 2022, coming in at $16 million. The budget includes a complete maintenance and shutdown of the Jackson Hydroelectric project for two weeks to inspect the power tunnel and perform critical inspections.

The PUD's water system budget will rise from $13.3 million to $14 million in 2022, due in large part to a 1.4% rate increase from the City of Everett, which is where the PUD sources most of its water, and a 1.5% growth in demand.


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