OKANOGAN – Okanogan County Public Utility District revenues continue to lag behind predictions because of a 12 percent shortfall in power sales.
Bonneville Power Administration conservation rebates, Build America Bond rebates and a 6 percent decrease in operational expenditures helped offset the shortfall, Treasurer Janet Crossland told the board during its July 24 meeting.
Above-average water levels in the Columbia River also are affecting revenue, Power Resource/Telecom Manager Ron Gadeberg said.
Measurements at Grand Coulee Dam show July flow was 180 percent above historical water averages. That means power markets are underpriced, leading to lower revenue for wholesale power sales.
Wholesale sales for June were $156,000 lower than estimates and retail sales through May were $139,000 below estimates.
Gadeberg said the utility’s budget anticipated one of the Colville Confederated Tribes’ mills coming back on line, but t hat didn’t happen. The two Omak-area mills were the utility’s No. 1 and No. 3 users until they closed in 2008-09.
Spring was “extremely mild,” also contributing to lower sales. A series of rate increases also may have been a factor, he said.
“Kilowatt-hours sold are a lot less than projected,” h e said.
In other business July 24, the board:
· Saw Wireman Apprentice Trainee Manuel Guerrero recognized with an employee service award.
· Heard a request for $10,360 to join the Northwest River Partners Clean Hydro Campaign, a program to educate the public on the value of hydropower. The expenditure is not in the budget, so the board wants to evaluate costs and benefits.
· Learned line crews continue to help Ferry County Public Utility District with efforts to restore power after a July 20 wind storm destroyed poles and lines.
· Heard a report on the Western Electricity Coordinating Council/North American Electric Reliability Council audit July 17-18. The audit covered June 18, 2007, to July 18, 2012. There were no findings of violations.