News Release 2/21/17

Contact:
Erica Erland, Clark Public Utilities
360-992-3238 (desk), 206-604-1509 (mobile)
eerland@clarkpud.com

CLARK PUBLIC UTILITIES CUSTOMERS RECEIVE CREDIT TO OFFSET COLD WEATHER-RELATED HIGH BILLS
– Board allocates surplus 2016 funds to one-time credit toward electric bill. –

VANCOUVER, WA – February 21, 2017 – Following unusually cold weather this winter, many Clark Public Utilities customers are receiving higher than normal electric bills. To help ease the hardship of unexpectedly high bills, the Clark Public Utilities Commission has approved allocation of approximately $10 million in 2016 surplus funds to provide customers with a one-time bill credit.

“Long stretches of freezing temperatures took a toll in Clark County and we saw electric usage increase dramatically,” said Clark Public Utilities Board President, Jane Van Dyke. “Staff came to the board and suggested using a portion of 2016 surplus revenue to help customers with these high bills.”

Eligible Clark Public Utilities customers will see a credit on the March bill equal to about 24 percent of the average monthly cost of energy this winter. EqualPay and Guarantee of Service Program customers will see the credit applied to the account balance.

As a customer-owned utility, Clark Public Utilities is non-profit and operates in the customers’ best interests to ensure reliability, increase affordability and maintain excellent customer service. Staff manages a variety of variables impacting operating costs including the amount of hydropower generated by the Federal hydro system, prices for energy purchased from the power market, the cost of natural gas and fluctuations in weather.

“We set the annual budget based on conservative estimates of all the variables to keep rates stable and predictable,” said Van Dyke. “Rates haven’t changed since 2011 and staff has done an excellent job of finding opportunities for cost savings. As a result, this year we are fortunate to be in a position to help customers after this extremely cold winter.”

Customers who need further assistance with high bills are encouraged to call customer service at 360-992-3000 to make payment arrangements or check eligibility for limited-income energy assistance programs. Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

About Clark Public Utilities
Clark Public Utilities is a customer-owned public utility providing electric service to more than 195,000 customers throughout Clark County and water service to about 34,000.

Clark Public Utilities has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction among midsize utilities in the west by J.D. Power nine years in a row. More information at 360-992-3000 or www.clarkpublicutilities.com.

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