Clallam PUD rates lower than neighboring utilities, analyst says

CARLSBORG — Clallam County Public Utility District customers had the lowest average monthly electric bills on the North Olympic Peninsula in June, a staff analysis showed.

The PUD’s residential customers also paid less for power than most across the state and the nation in 2015, Power Analyst Tyler King told Clallam County PUD commissioners Tuesday.

“We’re actually doing fairly well compared to the neighboring utilities,” King told Commissioners Hugh Haffner and Ted Simpson.

The average residential Clallam County PUD electric bill — base charge plus 1,200 kilowatt hours of consumption — was $111.97 before tax in June, King said.

That includes a 3.8 percent electric rate increase that took effect April 1.

By comparison, average power bills were $117.26 in the city of Port Angeles, $120.31 in Mason County Public Utility District No. 3, $121.74 in Mason County PUD No. 1, $129.08 in the Jefferson County Public Utility District and $136.32 for Puget Sound Energy customers.

“This was taken from information based on the utilities’ websites,” King said.

“The takeaway from this is that we can inform our customers that our rates are still competitive, and that [of] the neighboring utilities, we are the lowest.”

King said the city of Port Angeles has a slightly higher electrical rate charge and slightly lower base rate than the PUD.

He added that the sale and temporary shutdown of the Nippon paper mill on Ediz Hook has reduced the city’s electric load by about half.

“That’s their largest customer,” King said.

Port Angeles City Manager Dan McKeen told the City Council later Tuesday that the mill represents “nearly half of the entire electric consumption in the city.”

“That’s a lot,” McKeen said. “It used to be over half.”

King provided PUD commissioners with a 2015 comparison of average monthly electric bills.

At $108.30 for 1,200 kilowatt hours, Clallam County PUD rates were lower in 2015 than the state ($109.08) and national ($151.80) averages.

The average monthly bill in Washington state, Oregon and California was $171.36.

The states with the highest average electric bills were Connecticut ($251.28 per month) and Hawaii ($355.20), according to King’s analysis.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

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