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Economic and dam related articles

Peninsula Light Reacts to
Bonneville Power Rate Increase

by News Service
The Peninsula Gateway, March 9, 2010

Peninsula Light Company will raise its utility rates by 5.8 percent on April 1, a move that was approved last fall after a more significant rate increase by Bonneville Power Administration.

On Oct. 1, BPA raised its wholesale rates by 7.6 percent. The date marked the beginning of a new two-year rate period between PenLight and BPA.

PenLight's Board of Directors approved its rate increase soon afterward, but they waited until spring to put it into effect.

"We felt postponing a rate increase until spring would be in the best interest of our members, especially with the winter heating season approaching," PenLight CEO Jafar Taghavi said. "In order to accomplish this, we are going to have to drastically reduce our operating expenses."

PenLight was not the only utility affected by the BPA rate increase. Public utilities throughout the Pacific Northwest were subject to the bump.

"We aren't unique in trying to cope with the increased cost of our wholesale power during these difficult economic times," Taghavi said.

The new rate will add an average of $5.06 to a residential member's monthly bill, based on an average usage of 1,285 kilowatt hours per month.

PenLight is a member-owned cooperative located in Gig Harbor, and it's a full requirement utility of BPA.

PenLight began in 1925. Since then, it has grown to be the second-largest cooperative in the Northwest.

It now has 25,000 members and serves more than 31,000 meters on the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas. The utility provides electric power and water services.

For more information, visit

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