TURLOCK – TID Board of Directors approved Water and Electric Rate Increases as well as the Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets for 2009. TID held public hearings for both proposed water and electric rates to receive customer comments and answer questions.
The base electric rates will increase an average of 15 percent. The increase for each rate class will bring charges closer to the actual costs of providing electric service to those users. In December, the Power Supply Adjustment (PSA) increased from $0.009 to $0.01 per kilowatt hour. The PSA charge is evaluated every six months and is projected to be reduced later in the year. The new rates will take effect on February 1, 2009. This is the first across the board electric rate increase since 2006.
Under the new rates, an average TID residential customers using 850-kilowatt hours of electricity would realize an increase of approximately $12.00 in their monthly electric bills.
The District was forced to increase electric rates due to significant financial impacts including rising wholesale electric prices, below average generation from hydroelectric and meeting state mandates for renewable energy and greenhouse gases. Larry Weis, General Manager stated that “The cost of doing business plus renewable mandates from the state legislature has put a huge strain on TID.” Without the increase, the District would fall short of the $52.7 million needed for its 2009 budget. The District is utilizing $8 million from the Rate Stabilization Funds to help offset the increase felt by customers.
Additionally, TID will increase its Water Charge in two steps. The first step will be effective on January 1, 2009 with an increase of $3.00 per acre. The second step would take effect on January 1, 2010 with an additional $3.00 increase per acre. The charge for both tier two and tier three water will increase by $5.00 per acre-foot on January 1, 2009. The increase would raise the Water Charge from $20.00 per acre to $23.00 on January 1, 2009 and to $26.00 per acre on January 1, 2010. When available, water above the allotment would be provided at the cost of $15.00 for the first acre-foot and $20.00 per acre-foot for any water thereafter.
The rates charged for irrigation water have remained unchanged for the past four years during which time operating and maintenance costs have increased. The new charges will help offset a portion of the increased cost associated with the delivery of irrigation water, maintenance of the canal system and regulatory requirements.