Cowlitz Public Utility District Maintains Tariffs for Fourth Year in a Row | Local company



Cowlitz PUD predicts this roughly 15% increase in retail revenue in 2022, in part because members are expected to use energy at pre-COVID levels. Cowlitz PUD public relations director Alice Dietz said the district assumed members would reduce their use during the pandemic, but has since reversed those assumptions.

Revenue is also expected to rise as “a large industrial customer” forecast higher energy use in 2022, Dietz said. She said she couldn’t disclose the client’s name. The new forecast is expected to increase the district’s revenue for key industry members by about 31% from 2021 to 2022.

Cowlitz PUD members can apply for loans to cover energy upgrades to their home, such as adding insulation or ductless heat pumps. PUD discounts will cover interest payments and may also reduce the principal.

The district has indicated that it does not anticipate any new large customers in 2022. Of the district’s budgeted costs of approximately $ 244 million, 73% is expected to be for net electricity, 12% for labor and benefits, 6% for debt services, 5% for operating expenses and 4% in capital.

A public hearing was held at Tuesday’s meeting to consider whether the district should apply for a property tax levy. No one from the public spoke at the hearing and the Commissioners unanimously decided not to request the levy. Dietz said she does not recall a time in recent history when the district requested a levy.

According to the BPA, the organization operates 31 federal power dams, one non-federal nuclear power plant, and several non-federal power plants, providing about 28 percent of the electrical power used in the Northwest.


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