Benton PUD Board Members Proposing Electric Rate Increase - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton PUD Board Members Proposing Electric Rate Increase

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Benton PUD customers could see high bills later this year. Board members are proposing an electric rate increase that could hit utility bills in April.

If they decide to vote yes on the issue at the end of February, it will take effect April first.

Commissioners say the proposed cost increase is needed to offset the Bonneville Power Administration's rising power costs and they now have to buy renewable energy to comply with the Energy Independence Act.

Benton PUD's spokesperson says their average customer's bill runs about $107, so the change will be relatively small for them.

However, high-use customers like small businesses and irrigation will see a smaller rate increase of just above 1%.

"While it's not big, we still need to do it and want to do it on more of a regular basis instead of waiting until its higher and kind of level out the rate increase," said Benton PUD Spokesperson Karen Miller.

Benton PUD will hold a rate information meeting for customers on Tuesday, January 15th at 6 PM in their auditorium to discuss concerns and questions.

The larger customers also have a meeting earlier that morning starting at 8 AM.