Public Power Benefit Program

Help Chelan PUD enhance the quality of life for customer-owners. Share your ideas!

The Public Power Benefit program allocates funds in community-minded projects -- the best value for the most people for the longest time. Here are some examples:

  • Expanding access to fiber internet
  • Day use parking pass program to Daroga, Lincoln Rock and Wenatchee Confluence
  • Installation of five electric vehicle charging stations
  • Purchasing of seven bronze sculptures for permanent residence at Riverfront Park
  • Modernizing Discovery Center exhibits
  • Internships for persons with cognitive disabilities
Where does funding for the program come from? Surplus power is sold on the wholesale power market, allowing us to pay down debt and reinvest back into our community. Here’s how it works: 

What shall we invest in next? We accept project ideas and requests throughout the year. Investments made under the Public Power Benefit program must fall within the PUD's authority as a public utility. That generally means the project should have some connection with one or more of these categories:

  • Enhancements to existing PUD Parks & Recreation
  • Fiber & Telecom services
  • Environmental protection and habitat restoration
  • Promotion of Electrification
  • Education and job readiness specific to utility services
  • Aesthetic enhancements to PUD facilities

Ask yourself, does your idea support one or more of these community priorities:  

  • Improve economic development?
  • Improve education and job readiness in our community?
  • Enhance environmental stewardship?
  • Meet an unmet recreation need?
  • Support diversity, inclusiveness and underserved populations?
  • Complement efforts of other entities?

If the concept is within our authority, then the idea is reviewed by staff. Ideas will be ranked based on the above community priorities and the highest scoring projects will be taken to our elected board of commissioners for consideration and possible approval. Please note that the Commission is planning to fully fund fiber internet expansion over the next five years. 

Projects should generally by submitted by May 1 to be considered for the following year’s budget and work plan. However, project requests are accepted year round and if funding and resources are available, it is possible that some projects could still be funded after May 1. 

Public Power Benefit Project Application

Questions? Email, and we’ll get back to you.

Public Power Benefit News

Chelan PUD on track to achieve milestone for broadband access

by Rachel Hansen | Apr 04, 2023

Chelan PUD is on track to extend its wholesale broadband network to 85 percent of Chelan County by the end of 2026 – a goal identified in the utility’s 2015-2019 strategic plan. Commissioners discussed next steps for fiber expansion Monday. (Audio starts at 01:09:00 on the board recording.)

Commissioners have committed $27 million from the utility’s Public Power Benefit Program to extend the broadband network to 9,256 additional homes and businesses by 2027. So far, the PPB fiber project has extended access to 5,531 premises, with 3,725 more scheduled to be connected over the next three years.

The Public Power Benefit Fund uses revenues from surplus energy sales to support community-minded projects, which means the fiber expansion project was funded with no additional cost to customers.

Over the next six months, PUD staff will continue to develop a long-term plan for fiber expansion beyond 2026, including scope, schedule, resources and budget. As part of that process, the PUD is also considering alternative ways to provide internet access for rural, hard-to-reach areas.

“That 85 percent mark that we’re reaching for is a moving target,” Commissioner Carnan Bergren said. “Eight-five percent six years ago is a lot different than what we’re looking at today. I hope down the road we define a service territory.”

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Here for you, providing the best value for the most people for the longest time –