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Docket number: UE-130583, UE-130617, UE-131099, UE-131230
OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators today approved a settlement under which Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will reduce electric rates to reflect lower power-supply costs.
Under the settlement agreement approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC), PSE agreed not to pursue its request to increase electric rates by 0.02 percent, and will instead decrease its electric revenue by 0.52 percent, or $10.5 million, annually.
Through this change, an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours will see a $0.53 monthly reduction in electricity costs beginning Nov. 1, for an average bill of $100.04. Natural gas rates are not affected.
In July, PSE asked the UTC for a 0.02 percent rate hike, arguing the increase is needed largely to pay the costs related to three electricity-generating plants: Snoqualmie Falls, Lower Baker River and Ferndale. PSE agreed to the lower amount after meeting with commission staff and other stakeholders to determine the appropriate accounting methods for calculating costs.
The company began this proceeding with a filing on April 25 to initiate a Power Cost Only Rate Case (PCORC). According to a prior agreement, PSE may periodically initiate a PCORC to adjust to electricity rates based solely on changes in power-supply and fuel costs necessary to meet customer demand. A PCORC does not consider the company’s non-power supply related costs, such as distribution operating and maintenance expenses, salaries, equipment and taxes, which are addressed in more comprehensive general rate cases.
Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy provides electricity service to more than 1.1 million electric customers living in eight Washington counties: King, Pierce, Island, Kitsap, Kittitas, Skagit, Whatcom and Thurston.
The UTC is the state agency in charge of regulating private, investor-owned electric 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.