News Release 12/11/2012

For Information:
Erica Erland, Clark Public Utilities
360-992-3238, [email protected]


VANCOUVER, WA – December 11, 2012 – The Clark Public Utilities commission voted today to approve annual budgets for the electric, generating and water systems.

The combined budget for the electric and generating systems for 2013 is $368.8 million, $8.2 million less than 2012 due to projected power supply savings. Power supply remains the large majority of the budget at 69 percent ($254.1 million) and the Operating and Maintenance budget is 13 percent at $48 million. The remainder is comprised of taxes, debt service, rate funded capital and conservation funding.

“The utility runs lean, with fewer employees and a lower operating cost per customer than any other utility in the state,” said Commission President Carol Curtis. “Despite upward pressure on power supply expenses, the staff continues to do a good job of maximizing savings, minimizing risk and operating efficiently.”

Commissioners approved $14.6 million for the 2013 water system budget, compared to $14.3 in 2012. The minimal increase is due to planned infrastructure improvement projects.

“The objective of this public utility is to provide customers with reliable service as affordably as possible with excellent customer service and our budget process is based on continuous improvement against these goals,” said Curtis.

Salary Adjustment
Following a performance review, Clark Public Utilities commissioners voted today to adjust General Manager Wayne Nelson’s salary.

Based on multiple surveys of executive salaries at comparable utilities in the region and across the country, commissioners unanimously agreed to increase Mr. Nelson’s salary from $225,000 to $235,000. The adjusted salary remains below the midpoint of the established salary range for Mr. Nelson’s position.

“Under Mr. Nelson’s leadership, Clark Public Utilities has set the benchmark for customer satisfaction in the utility industry and continues to run smoothly and successfully,” said Curtis.

Mr. Nelson has served as General Manager of the utility since January 1999. The commissioners last voted to increase Mr. Nelson’s compensation in August 2011.

For the fifth year in a row, Clark Public Utilities was ranked highest in customer satisfaction for mid-size utilities in the west by J.D. Power and Associates. The survey measures all areas of the utility from system reliability to billing and from customer service to environmental stewardship and is an indicator of the efficiency and effectiveness of the utility compared to similar-sized organizations. The utility was also named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Champion for the last two years, an honor given to only 50 companies in the country across all industries.

About Clark Public Utilities
Clark Public Utilities is a customer-owned public utility that provides electric service to more than 183,000 customers throughout Clark County. The utility also provides water service to about 30,000 homes and businesses in the Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Lakeshore, Hockinson, Brush Prairie, La Center, Meadow Glade, Amboy and Yacolt areas. More information at 360-992-3000 or