BPA Raises Rates: Board Postpones Increase Until April 2018

The Bonneville Power Administration is Peninsula Light’s primary wholesale power provider. In October 2017, BPA increased rates and, in response, the cooperative will raise member rates and increase the monthly electric base charge. This change will be effective in April 2018.

“As your member-owned electric cooperative, we look at rate increases from BPA with a critical eye to see how we can reduce its impact to you, our members,” said Jafar Taghavi, PenLight’s CEO. “Our goal is to ensure efficient operations while still maintaining outstanding service.”

BPA is a non profit federal agency that sells wholesale electric power generated in the Northwest, primarily from hydroelectric dams. For many years, PenLight absorbed BPA’s rate increases, raising member rates only three times in the past decade. In October, BPA raised PenLight’s energy rate by 5.2 percent. At its November 2017 meeting, PenLight’s Board of Directors approved a 2.6 percent increase in member rates and added $1 to the monthly member electric base charge. On average, members can expect to see a $3 increase to their monthly bill.

To minimize the impact on member bills, the board of directors voted unanimously to postpone this increase until April 2018. This is when the coldest weather ends and peak heating season tapers off.

Since 1925, your member-owned utility has served Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula, and Fox and Herron islands in western Pierce County. In 2013, after a focused five-year effort, PenLight achieved the top 25 percent in reliability, based on national standards for outage frequency and duration. Our co-op has continuously maintained this elite first quartile in reliability since then. PenLight also invests to achieve its state renewable energy and conservation mandates that resulted from passage of Initiative 937 in 2006.

PenLight is the second-largest cooperative in Washington. It serves more than 33,000 meters with 977 miles of line in 112 square miles of service territory. PenLight also provides service to 3,230 water consumers.