Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
February 16, 2021
A meeting of Commissioners of Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County was held at the Electric Center, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, Washington, on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
Present: Assistant to CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Present via digital conference (phone or video): President Jim Malinowski, Vice President Nancy Barnes, Secretary Jane Van Dyke Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Information Services Jeff Groff, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Operations Gene Morris, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Water Doug Quinn, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Employee Resources Nichole Reitzenstein, General Counsel John Eldridge, Manager of Energy Planning and Operations Tom Haymaker, Energy Resource Manager Terry Toland, Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline, Business Systems Manager James Ellis and Media Specialist Dameon Pesanti.
Press representatives: None
Others present via digital conference (phone or video): Don Steinke, Alona Steinke, Jean Avery, Mellissa Ahern, Chris Thobaden and Rick Marshall.
At 9:00 a.m., President Malinowski called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business. Commissioner Malinowski noted a quorum was present and the agenda (Materials A) was approved.
Member of the public Don Steinke thanked Clark Public Utilities for the Smart Thermostat, Heat Pump and the proposed Transportation Electrification and Electric Vehicle Programs. Mr. Steinke also provided comments regarding climate change and his desire for Clark Public Utilities to pass a resolution acknowledging the concern.
Member of the public Alona Steinke thanked Clark Public Utilities for the work on restoration efforts during the storm and the tree trimming the utility does proactively. Ms. Steinke is looking forward to the implementation of the Transportation Electrification and Electric Vehicle Program that has been proposed.
If members of the public have provided the utility with written comments, copies of these comments in their entirety may be obtained by contacting Margaret Anderson at [email protected] or 360-992-3378.
Consideration of the Minutes of February 2, 2021
There were no changes.
Consideration of Accounts Payable
The board, by a unanimous vote, approved the following payment amounts as listed on the Letter of Transmittal dated February 16, 2021 from the District Auditor (Materials B):
Electric Revenue Fund – $7,838,146.00
Water Revenue Fund – $183,218.42
Generating System Fund – $328,198.71
For a total of $8,349,563.13
Consideration of Bid Award No. 606 – Distribution Wood Poles
Director of Operations Gene Morris reviewed the memo dated, February 16, 2021 detailing the bid results (Materials C). Commissioner Barnes moved to recommend that Bid No. 606 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder Stella-Jones Corporation in the amount of $252,505.00, plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Van Dyke seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of 2020 Uncollectable Debt
Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix presented an overview of uncollectable debt for 2020 (Materials D). Ms. Fix stated the percentage of net losses from closed accounts to revenue is .23% for 2020. Net losses to revenue is down nearly 24% compared to the previous five-year average. The utility continues to compare favorably across the industry in regard to account delinquency.
Following the presentation, Commissioner Van Dyke moved to transfer $1,152,643.00 to uncollectable debt for 2020. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Barnes and it passed unanimously.
2020 Second Half Customer Research
Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline presented the customer research findings for the second half of the year (Materials E). Across the board our customers continued to give us high ratings through the second half of 2020 and Mr. Daline noted that a 99% ranking for recent service experience satisfaction has only been achieved one other time. Performance ratings in each area are mostly consistent with the first half of 2020.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny addressed the board (Materials F). December weather was warmer and drier than normal, which resulted in electric revenues coming in below budget and off system sales above budget. December residential sales were 96.8% of budget, commercial sales were 95% and industrial sales were 95.5% of budget. December ended with a net income of $4.9 million compared to a budgeted net income of $5.3 million. Year-to-date net income is $37.6 million compared to a budgeted net income of $27.8 million.
Ms. Ankeny provided a year end update on Conservation, Electric System and Generating System spending.
The Water System ended the year with 964 new customers, which is a growth rate of 2.55%. December ended with a net income loss of $143,000 compared to a budgeted net income loss of $319,000. Year-to-date net income is $2.8 million compared to a budgeted net income of $1.6 million. Water system year end capital spending was 104% of budget.
Ms. Ankeny provided the board with a summary of the rate stabilization fund for the Electric and Water Systems. The Electric System ended 2020 with a surplus of $33.0 million and the Water System ended with a $2.0 million cash transfer to capital for the Phase 4 Meter Project.
A detailed discussion surrounding the use of the Electric System surplus will occur at the board meeting on March 2, 2021.
December Wholesale Operations
Manager of Energy Planning and Operations Tom Haymaker addressed the board (Materials G). Mr. Haymaker updated the board on power supply noting that Slice performed below prompt month by 13 aMW and above budget forecast by 25 aMW. The monthly load was 25 aMW below the budgeted forecast.
Power and gas prices remained mild across the month.
Year-to-date Clark Public Utilities’ load was 4.2aMW below the budgeted forecast, annual Slice generation was 4 aMW below prompt forecast and 17 aMW above budget forecast. Combine Hills II wind generation was at an all-time high and successfully delivered to load.
Commissioner Reports and Comments
Commissioner Barnes reported on her attendance at the Columbia Springs board meeting.
Commissioners Barnes, Malinowski and Van Dyke attended the Washington PUD Association legislative conference call updates.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny provided the board with an overview of the accounts receivables through the month of December (Materials H).
Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury provided the board with an update regarding the River Road Generating Plant outage over the weekend.
Director of Operations Gene Morris provided the board with an update on outages and restoration efforts over the weekend. He expects the remaining outages to be restored by the end of the day. Commissioners thanked crews and staff for all their hard work over the weekend and through the rest of the week.
Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix provided the board with an update regarding phone metrics and customer service support over the weekend.
CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler provided status updates on contracts with CROWE and the City of Ridgefield.
There were no public comments.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:23 a.m.