Electric rates keep creeping up

Published on Thu, Aug 23, 2001 by Meg Olson

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Electric rates keep creeping up

By Meg Olson

Blaine city manager Gary Tomsic said news of another power rate hike came as a surprise. “It appears there may be another rate increase we weren’t expecting,” Tomsic said. “In all the legal mumbo jumbo we’ve signed I’m sure its there, but it was never discussed.”

It appears there are three cost recovery adjustment clauses in the contract between Blaine and the Bonneville power administration, not only one. The first one led to a recently announced 46 percent increase in wholesale power rates to help pay for power BPA needs to buy to boost a supply stretched thin by high demand. That meant a 22 percent increase for Blaine power customers. The other two clauses Tomsic said the city wasn’t aware of allow BPA to bump rates again if they run into financial trouble. Tomsic said his information from BPA was that one of those would likely be activated in October. “I’ve heard it could be five percent but we probably wouldn’t pass all that on to our customers,” Tomsic said..

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