TID Passes 2015 Budget with Electric Rate Increases

TurlockCityNews.com

The Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors passed the 2015 budget for the District in a 5-0 vote on Tuesday.

The budget, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2015 includes a 2 percent increase for nearly all 98,000 electricity customers in effort to offset a projected revenue shortfall of $17 million.

Approximately $7 million of a rate stabilization fund, which holds around $69.2 million, and $4 million due to changes to the Power Supply Adjustment will be used to make up for the shortfall.

The 2 percent rate increase, which was originally proposed as 5 percent, represents $6 million of the $17 million projected shortfall for the upcoming year; the additional costs will be reflected in increases in energy, demand, and customer base rates, according to TID staff.

Rate increase percentages are as follows:

  • Residential Customer (DE) would see an increase of 1.5 percent.
  • Small Commercial Non-Demand & Non-TOU (CE) customers would see an increase of 1.2 percent.
  • Small Commercial TOU (CT) customers would see an increase of 1.5 percent.
  • Large Industrial (HT) customers would see an increase of 3.7 percent.
  • Municipal Demand (MD) customers would see an increase of 3.8 percent.
  • Municipal Connected Load (MC) customers would see an increase of 3.8 percent.
  • Restricted Irrigation Pumping TOU (PT) customers would see an increase of 4 percent.
  • Restricted Irrigation Pumping (PI) customers would see an increase of 4 percent.
  • Farm Energy (FE) customers would see an increase of 1.7 percent.
  • Farm Demand (FD) customers would see an increase of 2.3 percent.
  • Farm TOU (FT) customers would see an increase of 2.9 percent.
  • Small Industrial TOU (IT) customers would see an increase of 2.4 percent.
  • Small Industrial Demand (ID) customers would see an increase of 1.6 percent.
  • Very Large Industrial TOU (XT) customers would see an increase of 3.7 percent.
  • Bulk Power Industrial Service (BP) customers would see an increase of 4 percent.

The newly passed budget will close thee farm account types including Farm Connected Loads (FC), Farm Irrigation Pumping (FO), Farm Irrigation Pumping (FX). FO and FX account types have been closed to new customers since the early 1990s; there are 106 customers who currently have these accounts, down from around 3,500 in 2002. There are still approximately 690 customers under FC accounts

Transitions for customers will occur over a year, with customers moving to FE, FD, or FT rates by Dec. 31, 2015. TID intends to inform all affected customers of the change and customer service will contact each offering rate information.

FC, FX, and FO customers will not experience the rate increase at the Jan. 1, 2015 date.

TID customers on the westside of the district, which includes Patterson, Crows Landing, and Diablo Grande, will also not experience the same rate increases as eastside customers; there is the potential that many of these customers could see a noticeable decrease from current rates.

In 2003, TID acquired the westside system from Pacific Gas & Electric, and customers have since been paying additional charges to cover the cost of acquisition which they anticipate being paid off by early 2015.

Residential customers will see a customer charge increase from $11 to $17, while commercial customers will see an increase from $8 to $25.

Despite the proposed fixed charge increases, staff says the rates will still remain in the ballpark of other districts.

TID’s residential and commercial charges are both currently lower than Modesto Irrigation (MID) and Sacramento Municipal Utilities (SMUD) districts. MID and SMUD both have proposed residential charge increase to put them at $20 and $16, respectively. The proposed commercial increase would however make TID customers paying more than both MID and SMUD customers.

The increases will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2015 with the Board revisiting the issue of solar rates early next year with additional workshops in the first quarter relating to solar rate issues. 

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