The Clark Public Utilities Commission voted to approve annual budgets for the electric, generating and water systems. The good news for our community is that electric and water rate increases are not currently required to fund the approved budgets.
The combined operating budget for the electric and generating systems for 2020 is $360.67 million, compared to $366.27 million in 2019. Power supply remains the large majority of the budget at $230 million—down from $232.7 million in 2019 budget—and the Operating and Maintenance budget is $58 million. The remainder is comprised of taxes, debt service, rate-funded capital and funding for energy efficiency programs.
Commissioners also approved $20.2 million for the 2020 water system budget, compared to $21.3 million in 2019.
“A former colleague of mine used to say you can tell a lot about an organization by their budget, and staff has done a meticulous job of capturing the direction of the board in a pragmatic and disciplined way in this year’s forecast,” said Nancy Barnes, president of the Clark Public Utilities Board of Commissioners.
Capital budgets for both the electric and water systems allocate funds for system maintenance and improvements. For the electric and generating systems, projects planned for the combined $55.96 million capital investment include ongoing treatment and replacement of aging underground cable; substation, transmission and distribution line construction and upgrades; and road improvement projects. The $8.18 million capital budget for the water system allocates funds for main extensions and upgrades and completion of the Paradise Point well field treatment plant.
“This budget not only absorbs higher power supply costs from the Bonneville Power Administration without the requirement of a rate increase for our customers, but continues to reflect our priorities of energy conservation, support of our limited-income communities and the ongoing proactive maintenance and improvement of our systems,” Barnes said.
And just a reminder, the Clark Public Utilities 6th Annual Race for Warmth, will take place on Sunday, January 26, 2020. Registration is now open and funds raised will benefit Operation Warm Heart.
About Clark Public Utilities
Clark Public Utilities is a customer-owned public utility that provides electric service to more than 210,000 customers throughout Clark County. The utility also provides water service to about 37,000 homes and businesses in the Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Lakeshore, Hockinson, Brush Prairie, La Center, Meadow Glade, Amboy and Yacolt areas.
Clark Public Utilities has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction among midsize utilities in the west by J.D. Power twelve years in a row. For more information call 360-992-3000 or visit Clark Public Utilities online.