Public comment needed on PSE rate increase!
PSE proposes a 20%* increase in residential electricity rates to cover Energize Eastside and other projects
CENSE needs YOU to explain to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) why you are outraged with PSE’s projected $300 million plus price tag for the Energize Eastside Project. Even the State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Public Counsel Unit is challenging PSE’s proposal for a 20 percent increase in residential electrical rates over a three year period beginning January 2023 (see note below). The WUTC has the authority to determine if a project is a prudent expenditure and can deny all or part of PSE’s rate increase request for Energize Eastside.
Because rate case hearings rarely receive much public comment, your “in person” comments via ZOOM could have significant impact. See details below
Why should you be outraged? For the first time, PSE is asking the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) to allow an electrical rate increase for a project that is incomplete. Yes, PSE is erecting Energize Eastside poles in Renton and South Bellevue, but construction in Newcastle has not begun, and hearings for the North Bellevue permit have not been announced. Why should rate payers begin rewarding PSE with a 9.8% rate of return on an infrastructure investment whose total cost is still unknown, whose need has not been verified and that would cost ratepayers close to $2 Billion in increased rates over the life of the project.
WHO, WHEN, WHERE
You can speak in person at the public comment session, 6 P.M. Wednesday September 28, 2022. You can repeat the same comments you made during the Bellevue, Renton and/or Newcastle land use hearings. Please also submit these comments in writing.
ZOOM to the Public Comment Hearing:
- By computer or zoom app using this link
- Via phone at 253-215-8782, Conference ID 834 6224 4485; Passcode 772950
If you can’t attend the meeting, you can submit written or verbal comments until 6 P.M. on September 28.
Submit your comments regarding Puget Sound Energy GRC, Docket UE-220066 & UG-220067 using any of these methods:
Last task – Please sign the petition by the Washington Clean Energy Coalition opposing PSE’s overall rate increase.
*Note: Where did we get that 20% figure for the increase residential electricity rates?
PSE doesn’t explicitly state the total percentage increase in residential electricity rates, but you can calculate it from the numbers in PSE’s notice of request for rate increase:
- 2023 … Residential customers would see an overall average 15.80% increase.
- 2024 … Residential customers would see an overall average 2.62% increase.
- 2025 … Residential customers would see an overall average 1.20% increase.
Multiplying those annual increases gives slightly more than 20%:
1.158 * 1.0262 * 1.012 = 1.2026, a 20.26% increase.
Also, in their example on page 2: “Electric service for the average residential customer (using 800 kilowatt hours of electricity per month)”
Total bill at 800 kWh per month:
- current: $88.90
- 2023: $103.43
- 2024: $106.20
- 2025: $107.51
The increase from the current $88.90 to 2025’s $107.51 is (107.51-88.90)/88.90 = 0.209 or 21%