Public invited to comment on Puget Sound Energy’s rate request

Can phone into January meetings in Lacey, Bellevue

Puget Sound Energy customers will have the opportunity to comment to state regulators on the company’s proposed electric and natural gas rate changes that are in front of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

WHEN and WHERE

Tuesday, Jan. 7

UTC headquarters

621 Woodland Square Loop S.E.

Lacey

6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 22

Bellevue City Hall Council Chamber

450 110th Ave N.E.

Bellevue

6 p.m.

Remote participation is available by calling (360) 407-3810, Conference ID: 9524028. If participating via phone, please call 1-888-333-9882 at least one day in advance to sign-in for the hearing.

BACKGROUND

In June, Puget Sound Energy filed a rate case with the Utilities and Transportation Commission requesting an increase of $139.9 million, or 6.9%, in additional electric revenue and $65.5 million, or 7.9%, in additional gas revenue.

The company’s proposed rates would increase the average residential electric customer’s bill by $5.51, for an average monthly bill of $95.61. The company’s proposal would raise the average residential natural gas customer’s bill by $2.45, for an average monthly bill of $62.05.

In November, after reviewing the company’s costs to supply power and for infrastructure investments, commission energy staff recommended smaller increases of approximately $50 million, or 2.5%, to electric rates and $38.4 million, or 4.6%, to natural gas rates.

Under UTC staff’s proposed rates, PSE’s average residential electric customer using 900 kilowatt hours a month would pay $1.13 more a month, for an average monthly bill of $91.23. PSE’s average residential natural gas customer using 64 therms a month would pay $2.14 more under staff’s recommendation, for an average monthly bill of $61.74.

Staff’s proposal also recovers in rates the remaining costs associated with PSE’s partial ownership of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in Montana, which by law must not serve Washington customers after 2025.

The three-member commission, which is not bound by the company’s request or the staff recommendation, will make a final decision on the utility’s rate request next spring. New rates would go into effect in April 2020.

The commission has received 136 public comments to date on Puget Sound Energy’s rate proposal—134 opposed and two undecided.

Customers who want to comment on the proposed plans can submit comments online at www.utc.wa.gov/comments; write to P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA, 98504; email comments@utc.wa.gov; or call toll-free 1-888-333-9882.

The company last filed a rate case in 2018.

Bellevue-based PSE provides electricity service to more than 1.1 million electric customers in eight Washington counties: Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Thurston and Whatcom. PSE also provides natural gas service to more than 800,000 customers in six Washington counties: King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston.

The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

A photo posted June 3 on the Downtown Auburn Cooperative Main’s Facebook page showing volunteers installing boards over business windows.
Auburn to help restaurants with outdoor seating

On June 19, King County entered into Phase II of Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Courtesy of Google Images
Auburn Jack in the Box owner fined nearly $70,000 for teen worker violations

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries says on 260 occasions… Continue reading

24 Hour Fitness to close clubs in Kent, Auburn, Renton

Panther Lake Kent location scheduled to reopen next month

Westfield Southcenter Mall to reopen June 15

Modified hours; safety protocols

Goodwill to reopen donation centers, stores in King, Pierce counties

Including Kent, Auburn, Federal Way locations

New Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma to open June 8

$400M, 310,000-square-foot facility will open with COVID-19 precautions

Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn to reopen May 26

Face masks to be required of guests and employees

Like similar businesses across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, Bothell restaurant Hana Sushi closed due to public-health concerns. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee changes course, says diners won’t have to sign in

Restaurants may still ask customers for information that contact tracers could use to stop an outbreak.

Businesses, nonprofits asked to participate in COVID-19 impact survey

Regional effort in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties

NASA selects Kent-based Blue Origin to help return humans to the Moon

Goal to land the first woman and next man on the surface by 2024