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

Community invited to discuss what goes into deciding where to build fiber next

by Kimberlee Craig | Oct 01, 2019
Chelan PUD hosts open houses in Leavenworth, Entiat and Manson starting Oct. 8

76 percent of Chelan County has access to Chelan PUD’s super-fast broadband network. Customer comments during strategic planning included clear support for continuing efforts to build network access to even more locations.   

To keep the conversation going, Fiber staff is inviting the community to three open houses to talk about what goes into deciding where to build access next.

The open houses are 4:30-6 p.m. on:

  • Oct. 8 – at the Leavenworth PUD office, 222 Chumstick Hwy
  • Oct. 9 – at the Entiat Fire Hall, 2200 Entiat Way
  • Oct. 10 – at the Manson Grange Hall, 157 E. Wapato Way

Chelan PUD is committed to reaching 85-90 percent of the county as a Public Power Benefit (PPB) project funded in the previous strategic plan, said Mike Coleman, Fiber and Telecom managing director. Plans call to reach the goal by the end of 2025.

“Our Board of Commissioners has directed us to reach as many locations as possible with the funds provided under the PBB buildout, and that’s reflected in their vision to provide the best value for the most people for the longest time,” Coleman said. “During our recent round of strategic planning we heard many comments from our customers, and we’re investigating ways we might reach the PPB goal sooner.”

There will be information “stations” at next week’s open houses with updates on:

  • Network status and this year’s construction
  • Criteria and timelines used to determine where to build next
  • Economic factors considered when evaluating new build zone
  • Chelan PUD’s search for technology to reach areas where building out fiber isn’t feasible.

“We know that broadband service is highly desirable,” Coleman said. “We’re looking forward to sharing information and getting feedback from the community about our fiber network.”

Chelan PUD provides wholesale broadband access to local providers offering retail internet, TV and phone service. Find information about the PUD’s wholesale broadband network at chelanpud.org/What’s next for Chelan PUD Fiber.

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Learn more about Chelan PUD at www.chelanpud.org and find us on 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.