TID Starts 2012 Budget Process While Considering Potential Rate Increases

The Turlock Irrigation District (TID) has started the process of developing their 2012 budget. The first action was a review of the budget schedule for 2012 that was presented to the Board of Directors at a budget workshop on September 13, 2011.

Preliminary capital information was presented from each department that is currently being considered by the General Manager and will be presented again in budget form as part of each department’s budget in the coming months.
 
Projects that were presented and will require financed capital include: 1) large capital projects with multi-year system benefits such as the Almond Power Plant expansion and large transmission plan items, 2) projects that will need more than one year to complete such as the electronic meter change-out, and 3) Projects that are desirable but have no other funding source. 
 
In addition to the projects that are already included in the financed capital plan, the direction that the Board provides on the Red Mountain Bar Pumped Storage Project could also have an impact on the budget process. The project would partner with the Modesto Irrigation District to build a small reservoir adjacent to Don Pedro. The purpose would be to hold water in reserve to be pumped back into Don Pedro to generate power. The project is still being assessed to determine when regulatory and market conditions are favorable.
 
The final budget will take shape over the next two months and will determine if there will be any impact on rates and fees for TID customers.
 
Back in August, TID hosted a series of workshops for customers to discuss potential rate increases in 2012. The District presented cost information and received input from customers, but not much.
 
The TID Staff presentation included information showing the need for rate increases, what the largest causes are for the rate increases, potentially increasing rates in each of the next two years by 4% – 7%, and with options that could be implemented on how to apply the increases to rate schedules.
 
A 4% rate increase for the average residential customer using 787 kilowatts-hours a month would translate into about $4 a month more on their bill. A 14% increase would equal about $15.00 a month more on an average residential customer’s bill.
 
TID’s electricity costs residential customers about 14 cents per kWh while Modesto Irrigation District charges about 17.5 cents per kWh.
 
A Rate Hearing will be held on November 22, 2011 at 9am in the TID Boardroom.
 
 
Key dates in the budget process are as follows:
October 9, 2011 – Operations & Management Budget approved by Management Team.
October 18, 2011 – Preliminary Budget discussion with Board for General Manager and Financial Services Administrations.
October 25, 2011 – Preliminary Budget discussion with Board for Resource Management Planing & Rates and Civil Engineering & Water Resources Administrations.
November 8, 2011 – Preliminary Budget discussion with Board for Electrical Engineering & Operations and Power Supply Administrations.
November 22, 2011 – Preliminary Budget discussion with Board for Water Operations Construction & Maintenance & Misc. Rates & Fees.
November 22, 2011 – Walnut Energy Center Authority and Tuolumne Wind Project Authority Budgets adopted by Board.
December 6, 2011 – TID Budget and Rates adopted by the Board.

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