Douglas PUD is moving forward to establish future electricity rates for customers that'll go into effect after 2025. 

PUD staff proposed a rate hike of $3.00 per month for the average customer at the utility's public meeting this week. Small commercial businesses would see an average increase of $6.40 per month under the plan. 

Douglas PUD Spokesperson Meaghan Vibbert says there'll now be more public outreach about the proposal. 

"We're putting it out to everybody we can and asking for comments," said Vibbert. "We're having our hearings open through April." 

The upcoming hearings are on March 19, and April 2 and 16 at the PUD office, 1151 Valley Mall Parkway, East Wenatchee. All the hearings will take place at 1:30 pm. 

Douglas PUD commissioners will then finalize the new rates in May for a five-year plan that’ll be in place from 2026 through 2030. 

The proposal currently calls for the average monthly customer bill to be about $64.50 in 2026. The amount would increase about $10 per month by 2030.  

The PUD is planning for a rate increase because of changing conditions. 

Currently, the generating capacity of Wells Dam is more than what's needed to supply Douglas County customers with power, which allows the PUD to sell excess power on the open market.  

The open market revenue is used to keep retail rates for county customers below what it costs the PUD to produce the power.  

But Vibbert said demand in the county will grow because of electric vehicle use and economic development.  

In addition, there's an agreement with Okanogan PUD which allows that utility to tap into a percentage of the Wells Dam power generation, and that percentage is set to increase in the coming years. 

Because of the changing power use landscape, staff are predicting that Douglas PUD will not be able to produce surplus power at some point in the future. 

“We want to give our customers small predictable rate adjustments so they know where we are headed and can plan accordingly.” said Douglas PUD  General Manager Gary Ivory. 

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