The Douglas County PUD is looking to increase connection fees for homes and businesses that are getting new service. 

A public hearing on the proposed cost increase will be held on the second Monday in April (10), with the increase likely being adopted by the PUD at its following board meeting on April 24. The fees have not been raised in 10 years.

Douglas PUD spokesperson Meaghan Vibbert says the cost of equipment needed to start up new service has skyrocketed. 

"We have found that transformers that used to cost $19,000 now cost in the $70,000-80,000 range," said Vibbert. 

PUD staff is considering a staggered increase in the hookup fees to avoid sticker shock on the part of customers. 

Vibbert says it’s impossible to estimate what the average increase will be for new service. 

"Those are all specific to what type of service you need, how much capacity and distance and all that type of thing," Vibbert said. "Customers can get an estimate from our engineering department." 

The increase in hookup charges is intended to cover the cost increases of equipment needed to start new service. 

The PUD is calculating the increase so that each customer will simply pay for their portion of the new equipment.  

Those fees, known as contribution in aid of construction (CIAC), have not been raised in a decade 

As a not-for-profit utility, the PUD intends to only charge for the fee increase incurred to bring the new service online. 

The type of equipment that's required for the new service are transformers, switches, conduit and conductors. 

Douglas PUD experienced growth in customers requiring new service of 1.8 percent in 2021 and 2.0 percent in 2022. 

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