What is ‘growth pays for growth’?

Chelan County is growing, and as it does, so does our need for new electrical infrastructure to serve that growth, including substations and transmission lines. System impact fees will allow Chelan PUD to support customer growth and economic development in Chelan County while minimizing costs for existing customers. 

The Strategic Plan

During our 2019 strategic planning process, we consulted with an economic development topic team to explore how Chelan PUD might best support economic development and growth in Chelan County. We also conducted a survey of our customer-owners to determine their priorities for the utility. You can learn more about the Strategic Plan here.

The results of our work with the topic team and the customer survey showed that a majority (more than 60 percent) of our customer-owners are supportive of economic development and would like to see a greater emphasis on local electric load growth, so long as impacts to rates are modest.


Pie chart of survey results from PUD Strategic Plan, showing a majority support no or only moderate rate increases

Topic Team meeting from Strategic Plan process in 2019

2019 Strategic Plan Topic Team Meeting

In addition to the feedback received during the Strategic Plan outreach, our commissioners have long supported the concept of “growth pays for growth” so our rates can remain as low as possible.

As a result, we committed to exploring policies and fees for assessing a share of infrastructure needs (such as costs for building substations) as part of new connection costs. This is called a system impact fee.