BPA to seek wholesale rate increase

POSTED: 04:54 PM MST Nov 08, 2012 
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

The Bonneville Power Administration is proposing a 9.6 percent increase in its average wholesale power rates to compensate for reduced revenue expectations from surplus power sales.  It would also continue to fund investments in the Federal Columbia River Power System.

The federal agency is also proposing a separate 13 percent increase in its transmission rates to maintain system reliability and meet increasing demand in the northwest.  If adopted it would be the first transmission rate increase in eight years.

"We are acutely aware of the economic impact of our rates and have worked closely with the region to develop a plan that keeps rates as low as possible while making needed investments in infrastructure," said Steve Wright, BPA administrator and chief executive officer. "We remain committed to covering all our costs and providing timely repayment to the U.S. Treasury."

BPA will consider the rate hikes later this year.  A final decision on the rate adjustment will be made next July to take effect October 1, 2013. 

Bonneville Power provides nonprofit, federal wholesale power to Idaho Falls Power, Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Lower Valley Energy, and Raft River.  Those local utilities will ultimately determine the retail impact of BPA rates on local residents and businesses as they decide how to adjust their rates to meet the BPA cost.