Public Power Benefit Program

Public Power Benefits are projects selected by the Board of Commissioners. These projects contribute to improving the quality of life in our county. Public Power Benefit projects were developed as part of the 2015 Chelan PUD strategic plan, and will be developed as part of the 2020-2024 strategic plan. They are designed to provide the best value to the most people for the longest period of time.

Funded projects have included: expansion of the PUD fiber network to more homes throughout the county during the next ten years; creating a Day Use Parking Pass program that allows county residents to visit the three PUD Parks managed by the State of Washington – Daroga, Lincoln Rock and Wenatchee Confluence – and park for free – much like a Discover Pass; installation of electric vehicle charging stations at up to nine PUD facilities around the county; restoration of the Horan habitat area to a wetland; a feasibility study for a possible splash pad area in one of the PUD’s parks; and much more.

Although we aren’t currently accepting new applications, we always are interested in hearing about great new ideas. We welcome your thoughts. You can send project suggestions directly to

What is the Public Power Benefit program?

The Public Power Benefit program invests a portion of available revenues in ways that enhance quality of life in Chelan County. The program is designed to include customer-owners in the decision-making process.

What are the benefits?

Investments made under the Public Power Benefit program must fall within the PUD's authority as a public utility. Benefits might come in the form of services like expanded fiber availability, or an amenity like a water feature at a park. Benefits are optional, and are intended to enhance the quality of life in Chelan County. They are funded using a portion of electric revenues, as determined annually by Commissioners. This was a new program in 2015, and Commissioners initially focused on the five project areas listed on the Projects page.

Where do the funds come from?

In 2015, less than one-fifth of Chelan County power was used in Chelan County by retail customers. The rest was sold through contracts to other utilities, Alcoa, or on the wholesale power market. Here is an example from the 2014 adopted budget.

PPB News

Free parking at local State Parks continues in 2018

by Kimberlee Craig | Dec 19, 2017
Chelan PUD’s popular Public Power Benefit provides a day use parking pass at Confluence, Daroga & Lincoln Rock parks for customers.

Chelan County PUD customer-owners and county residents can apply now for their 2018 pass to park free during the day at the three PUD parks managed by  Washington State Parks & Recreation – Wenatchee Confluence, Daroga and Lincoln Rock.

Offered as a Public Power Benefit since 2015, the passes are popular, said Parks Manager Ryan Baker. His goal is to issue at least 1,700 passes for 2018. Baker said that is about 60 more passes than were issued this year. 

“Customers tell us over and over how much they enjoy using the pass to spend time in our local state parks,” he said. “Many people use the parking at Confluence and Lincoln Rock as a starting point to walk, run or bike on the Loop Trail and the Rocky Reach Trail extension. In fact, a survey of pass users showed Lincoln Rock is the top destination.”

Free parking at the PUD-owned state parks was one of the highest-ranked customer priorities in the 2015 – 2019 strategic plan.  The popularity has continued since it started as a pilot project in 2015.

PUD customers and county residents can submit an application for a 2018 pass now online and at utility offices in Chelan, Leavenworth and Wenatchee.  Parks staff will start processing the applications on Jan. 2 and mailing them out by the following week.  

Collaboration with Washington State Parks and Recreation is vital to the program’s success, Baker said. Under the Public Power Benefit program, Chelan PUD pays State Parks $10 for each parking pass up to 1,700.

If someone has a State Parks Discover Pass, they won’t need the PUD pass. Those who do receive the PUD pass agree to take part in occasional surveys to let the PUD know how the program is working and what parks they are using.

Pass holders are reminded that the pass is good for day-use parking only and does not include overnight camping or boat ramp fees.

For more information or to apply online, visit or search for “Day Use Parking Pass.

Revenue Generation (2014 Adopted Budget)

As revenues flow in, they are first used to reinvest in core assets, pay down debt, and maintain cash reserves. After that, Commissioners may choose to set aside some money for Public Power Benefits.

How did the program come about?

In January of 2014, PUD Commissioners launched a community conversation called Our Public Power, the Next Generation. More than a thousand customer-owners shared ideas for investing in the future. This public input informed priorities for strategic planning and became the basis for the Public Power Benefit program. As part of the PUD’s 2020-2024 strategic plan the utility is updating program criteria and the project selection process that will occur in 2020.