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 are designed to provide the best to the most 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 customerhelp@chelanpud.org

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 is a new program as of 2015, and Commissioners are currently focusing on the five project areas listed on the Projects page.

Where do the funds come from?

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

PPB News

Customers and Community invited to help shape PUD's future

by Kimberlee Craig | Feb 05, 2019
Commissioners prepare to launch strategic planning conversations

Chelan County PUD commissioners Monday reviewed key topics that customer-owners and the community will be asked to weigh in on during strategic planning for 2020-2024.

Commissioners and PUD staff are launching the next round of strategic planning this winter and reaching out to customer-owners, community leaders and other interested parties through public meetings, surveys and various online resources. (At 1:08 on the board meeting audio recording.)

Input from customers to develop the plan is vital, said board President Garry Arseneault following the meeting.

“Our customers are the heart of public power, and we need their thoughts and ideas to make sure we continue to provide the best quality of life for the most people in Chelan County for the longest time,” Arseneault said. “Strategic planning is dynamic and requires vigorous and healthy discussions.”

Senior managers and commissioners are seeking feedback to set direction on the following topics:

  • Aesthetic considerations (01:10)
  • Rock Island Dam relicensing (01:24)
  • Public Power Benefit program (01:37)
  • Long-term rate planning (01:45)
  • Growth and economic development (02:50)
  • Wholesale/retail sales (03:00)

Board members remain committed to strategic priorities to invest in assets and people that provide long-term value for the people of Chelan County.

They invited the community to join the conversation on ourpublicpower.org and at public meetings, by answering surveys and responding to mailed information.

“As a community-owned utility, we value our customers’ input to guide us,” said General Manager Steve Wright. “Keeping our customers informed and engaged is among our top priorities. We really do want to hear from them.”

In other business, commissioners:

  • Heard that energy efficiency programs exceeded conservation goals by nearly 10 percent last year. They are expected to return an estimated value over the life of the measures of nearly $6 million. One program, helping cities install energy-saving LED streetlights, is about 70 complete with work finishing in Cashmere and Wenatchee, said Andrew Grassell, energy development and conservation manager. Even with declining market prices net wholesale revenue and other energy-related revenue was $134.2 million in 2018, $17.8 million above budget. “Specified source” sales for the PUD’s carbon-free hydropower was $4.9 million of the total, $1.2 million more than budget. Janet Jaspers, energy planning and trading manager, said the results show how the District’s hedging program provides value for customers. (02:33)
  • Received updates on snowpack and water supply forecasts for the Columbia River and Lake Chelan. January-July Columbia River streamflow is forecast at 87 percent of average. Estimates for runoff into Lake Chelan , from the Feb. 1 snowpack survey, is 80 percent for the coming spring and summer. (02:35)
  • Reviewed the PUD’s 2018 performance. General Manager Steve Wright noted that development of cryptocurrency rates and responding to emerging issues delayed some planned work. Staff accomplished 73 percent of the 280 actions in the plan.  (00:10)
  • Held a hearing to gather comment on proposed updates to the rate schedule in contracts for customers using more than 5 average megawatts, or as warranted by special circumstances (excluding cryptocurrency). No one spoke. Lindsey Mohns, Customer Utilities business manager, said plans are to ask for board approval of the changes at the Feb. 19 meeting. (02:00)

Upcoming events:

  • Feb. 7 – Special board meeting/Strategic Planning kick-off, noon, Wenatchee Convention Center, 121 N. Wenatchee Ave.
  • Feb. 18 – Presidents Day holiday
  • Feb. 19 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m. boardroom (on Tuesday due to the holiday)
  • Feb. 23 – Firewise community event, 10 a.m., Pybus Market
  • March 5 –Commission meeting, 10 a.m., boardroom

***

The next regular PUD commission meeting is at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb.19, in the boardroom at 327 N. Wenatchee Ave.

 

Chelan PUD records most commission meetings, and a link to the audio is available on the PUD’s home page at www.chelanpud.org. Find us at Facebook.com/ChelanPUD and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD.

Here for you, providing the best for the most for the longest – chelanpud.org

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 in the District's 2015 strategic plan and became the basis for the Public Power Benefit program.