A Turlock Irrigation District fee which reflects electric power purchase costs will remain flat, providing a credit to customers through at least 2014.
“At this point, it looks like that half-cent credit would continue for the next 12 months,” said TID Utility Rate Analyst Chris Poley.
The PSA is a charge or credit assessed to TID electric customers to reflect the true cost of purchasing or generating power. The varying nature of the PSA allows the TID to make minor adjustments to rates over time as natural gas prices shift, without going through complicated rate change proceedings.
As natural gas becomes more expensive the fee is intended to increase, up to a one cent per kilowatt surcharge. If the district collects too much in PSA fees – the present situation – then TID offers consumers up to a half-cent per kilowatt discount on electric bills.
The fee is currently providing a half-cent per kilowatt credit – the maximum.
In the past six months, the credit has drawn down the PSA balancing account from $32 million to $26 million. A further year of the credit would drain the balance to approximately $14 million.
District policy requires TID to review the PSA twice annually, in June and December. Policy also requires the district to draw down the PSA balancing account until the balance nears 0 dollars, at which point the fee would be adjusted to reflect the varying costs of power production.
TID rates are still due to rise in the next 12 months, increasing 4 percent on Jan. 1, 2014. The change will cost the average customer $5 per month. The increase will mark the third and final year of scheduled rate increases; rates also rose 4 percent on Jan. 1 2012 and Jan. 1 2013.
On Tuesday, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors also:
• Issued certificates recognizing the retirement of employees Lynn Clay and Dale McElhaney.
Clay, a human resources analyst, had been with the district for 33 years. She was the first African-American to be hired by the district, and was responsible for hiring hundreds of TID employees over the years – including current TID General Manager Casey Hashimoto.
McElhaney, a crew supervisor for pest control and facilities, had been with the district for 32 years. He was hired only after hounding TID staff for weeks, asking for a chance to prove how hard he could work. McElhaney earned the nickname of “do-it-all Dale” for his hard work and wide-ranging skills.
• Held a public hearing to finalize the creation of a new improvement district. The district, to be known as the Pelliccia Pump No. 2, will contain 179 acres and serve a variety of landowners.
• Heard regular weekly updates on electrical service, power generation, irrigation water availability, and the status of the irrigation season.
• Canceled the TID board meeting of May 28.
• In closed session, discussed the case of Elligott v. TID, which currently sits before the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. A separate case of anticipated litigation was also discussed.
• Indefinitely postponed a closed session discussion to purchase a portion of the Pacific Northwest Intertie, a power line which sits in both Washington and Oregon. The purchase would allow TID to more easily transport and sell electricity generated at its Klickitat County, Wash. Tuolumne Wind Project.