Your PUD News Release



Chelan County PUD commissioners welcome new general manager

Chelan County PUD
News Release

WENATCHEE – Today marks the first day on the job for Steve Wright as the Chelan County PUD General Manager. Wright takes over as the general manager for John Janney who will remain at the District until Sept. 15. Commissioners welcomed Wright.

“Steve, we are looking forward to your long and productive tenure with the District,” stated Commission President, Carnan Bergren. “There are a number of challenging issues ahead of us and your experience will be valuable to the commission and our customers as we move forward to reach resolution.”

Wright added, “I’m grateful to the Board for providing me this opportunity. My initial focus will be on learning as much as I can through getting to know our employees and the community.” Wright thanked John Janney for all of the great work he accomplished during his tenure, especially putting the District in such an excellent financial position.

Wright began his professional career at the Bonneville Power Administration in the energy conservation division in 1981. He held a number of positions within BPA, most recently as administrator. Wright graduated from the University of Oregon with a master’s degree in public administration and from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is married and has three children ages 20, 16 and 13.

In other Commission business today:

  • Learned that District customers are saving energy. In the two-year period between 2010 and 2011, the average annual conservation savings were three times the average annual savings in the previous decade. The savings are 70 percent from the industrial sector, 24 percent from the residential sector and six percent from the commercial sector. Residential customers have more than a dozen energy saving programs available to them including home weatherization and energy-saving appliance rebates. Some 165,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs were distributed in Chelan County during the 2010-2011 time period. The 3.38 average megawatts in energy savings for 2010 and 2011 were verified by the State Auditor’s Office, showing the District met its two-year target in accordance with the Washington Energy Independence Act (I-937).
  • Approved a resolution authorizing a service agreement with LocalTel Communications to perform battery removal on the back-up power supply units that are used with the optical network terminals (ONT) in the District’s fiber system. In all, there are approximately 12,000 batteries in the PUD’s service territory. The three-year contract is not to exceed $527,500. The District estimates that it will begin to see annual cost savings of $150,000 in three years as a result of not having to maintain these battery systems. Customers can still opt for a battery back-up by working directly with their service provider to determine what their back-up requirements are.
  • Authorized the general manager to contract with Environmental Resources Management, Inc. of Portland, OR to perform spill prevention control planning, engineering and design services. The contract provides for “as needed” services by the District to assist the utility with its spill prevention control efforts. The contract is not to exceed $500,000.
  • Heard an up-date on the Columbia River Treaty status, including the PUD’s participation in a letter signed by 80 utilities throughout the northwest expressing concern to the U.S. Entity about not being a part of decision-making process on a significant issue that will impact nearly 6 million electric utility customers in the region.
  • Received information about efforts to integrate variable energy resources into the power northwest power grid and the potential impact that it would have on the PUD since hydropower is able to be the most responsive when it comes to having the capacity to accept the variable energy instantaneously. The PUD wants to ensure that the utility and its customer owners receive as much value as possible by accommodating this flexibility.
  • Voted  to set a special meeting for an executive session on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013 at 1 p.m. in the Commissioners Boardroom


The next regular PUD commission meeting is at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, in the boardroom at 327 N. Wenatchee Ave.

Most PUD commission meetings are recorded, and a link to the audio is available on the PUD’s home page at

Suzanne Hartman ABC, APR
Communications Manager
Chelan County Public Utility District
(509) 661-8291 (Office)
(509) 881-7300 (Mobile)

Link to board meeting.