Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Latest Buzz

Visit SnoPUD for all the latest information about what’s going on at the utility, and see what we’ve been up to.

Here you will find press releases, special reports, our customer newsletter ("The Wire"), our customer magazine ("Current") and our Outage Center.

Press Releases

(Archived News)

  • SnoPUD Announces No Rate Increase for Fourth Straight Year
    12/17/2020

    Board of Commissioners approve staff’s recommendation for no rate increase in 2021 budget

    The Snohomish County PUD Board of Commissioners approved the 2021 budget for the electric system on Tuesday, including staff’s recommendation to forego a general rate increase for the fourth consecutive year.

    The PUD’s residential electric rate will remain 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2021, keeping it competitive with other Northwest electric utility rates and below the national average of 12.95 cents/kWh.

    “This past year has been a challenge for many of our customers and I’m glad that we’re able to deliver on our promise to bring affordable power to those we serve,” said PUD GM/CEO John Haarlow. “It’s a credit to our staff who continue to work hard to keep costs down and find new and innovative ways to operate the business more efficiently.”

    In October, PUD rates could be adjusted once the Bonneville Power Administration incorporates its rates and credits that pass-through to PUD customers. This adjustment is expected to be at or below inflation overall, with the potential for flat to decreased rates for PUD residential customers. Details will be shared with BPA’s customers, including the PUD, in July.

    PUD Commissioners also approved the budget for the utility’s water and generation systems on Tuesday.

    The PUD’s 2021 forecasted energy retail sales are down approximately $5 million from 2020 budgeted retail sales, due in large part to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, the PUD’s commercial and industrial sales are down approximately 6%, while residential sales are up about the same due to workers and students spending more time at home. 

    Despite declining energy consumption in its service area, the PUD was able to avoid a general rate increase through the diligence of staff’s cost cutting measures, increased efficiencies and reprioritizing select capital projects. In addition to continuous improvement efforts, the PUD also reduced costs through a reduction in staff travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, removal of contingency contracts, delay or removal of some vacant positions and a shift of training to online instead of in-person.

    The PUD’s 2021 operating budget basically remained flat at $660 million in comparison to the 2020 operating budget electric system.

    The 2021 budget provides for continued investment in capital funding to improve system reliability, including maintenance and upgrades to aging poles, lines and transformers, as well as to equipment at the PUD’s five hydroelectric plants. The 2021 budget includes funding for major maintenance and a related two-week shutdown of the PUD’s Jackson Hydroelectric Plant.

    The PUD’s budget will also continue to robustly fund energy-efficiency programs, income-qualified assistance programs and fish and wildlife recovery efforts.

    The PUD’s water customers will also see no rate increase in 2021. Despite the rising costs of purchasing water and operations and maintenance, the approved water system operating budget includes no plans to raise the retail rate in 2021. Capital improvement projects to the PUD’s Warm Beach system, Walker Hill reservoir and Lake Stevens treatment plant are included in the budget.

  • SnoPUD Partners with PSE to Support Small Businesses
    12/8/2020

    New Agreement Creates One-Stop Shop Approach to Utility Incentives for Gas and Electric Customers

    Snohomish County PUD worked with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to develop an innovative Master Services Agreement (MSA) that allows both utilities to better serve the small business customers that they share.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of supporting the local small business community. Though the PUD has a long history of providing programs to help small businesses save energy and reduce their bills, up until recently, the PUD has not been able to provide small businesses with a holistic look at both their electric and gas energy-savings opportunities. For many customers, accessing incentives involved working separately with multiple utilities.

    “Small business owners are concerned with reducing their utility bills, but they don’t have time to manage incentive programs with multiple utilities” said Sheri Miller, Assistant Energy Efficiency Program Manager. “By developing this agreement with PSE, we can simplify and streamline energy-savings programs to benefit our small business customers.”

    The MSA that was recently signed by the PUD and PSE allows the PUD to sell therm (units of gas heat) savings to PSE, and PSE to sell kilowatt-hour savings to the PUD. These transactions occur behind the scenes, so that customers can focus on implementing upgrades that lower their bills, rather than navigating multiple utility incentives and rebate programs. The MSA creates a one-stop-shop approach for small businesses.

    The Direct Install program for Small Businesses is the first program to fall under the MSA. This program is implemented by consultant Willdan and provides a free energy assessment to eligible small businesses. Energy-efficiency upgrades such as interior and exterior LED lighting, occupancy sensors and advanced thermostats are then installed at minimal or no cost to the customer. Small businesses that participate in the program will now get to access all of the relevant incentives and energy-saving opportunities through one point of contact.

    In the future, the MSA could be used to support other programs, including residential programs that could benefit both PUD and PSE with a streamlined joint approach.

    “We’ve now created a mechanism that allows us to partner with PSE to provide the best service to our customers,” said Suzy Oversvee, Senior Customer and Energy Services Program Manager. “In this case, we can help our small businesses save money in a time where they are facing so many outside challenges.”

  • SnoPUD Offers Incentives, Tips for Conserving Energy in Cold Weather
    10/22/2020

    Easy energy-saving strategies for workers and students staying home during the pandemic

    With below average temperatures forecast for this weekend and more workers and students staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping energy consumption down is more challenging than usual. Snohomish County PUD offers incentives on energy-efficiency products and easy energy-saving tips to help customers reduce usage and expenses.

    The PUD is currently giving away energy-saving bundles to residential customers while supplies last. The Entertainment Bundle includes six LED light bulbs, an advanced power strip and an LED night light. The Bathroom Bundle, which includes four LED globe light, a handheld showerhead, two aerators and an LED night light, is only available for PUD residential water customers. All bundles ship for free. To order a free bundle, customers can visit marketplace.snopud.com.

    Energy bills generally increase when temperatures drop because of heating costs. For customers with electrically heated homes, the PUD offers instant rebates to help pay for eligible heat pumps, which offer efficient heating in the winter – and cooling in the summer. Customers who upgrade their heating systems can save up to 50% on winter heating bills.

    Through Dec. 31, the PUD is offering enhanced rebates of an extra $500 for ducted heat pump and an extra $400 for ductless heat pump upgrades. Customers must have electric heat as a primary heating source and work must be completed by a PUD Registered Trade Ally to qualify. For more information on these incentives, visit snopud.com/heating.

    With the National Weather Service forecasting colder and wetter weather this winter, all PUD customers could benefit from these easy and inexpensive tips for conserving energy during cold weather:

    • Add caulking or weather-stripping to windows and doors. Adding or repairing the weather-stripping on your windows and doors can significantly reduce heat loss and drafts. Celebrate National Weatherization Day on Oct. 30 by improving the indoor air quality and energy efficiency of the home.
    • Practice zoned heating and lighting. A simple way to reduce energy usage is zone heating, or heating occupied rooms only. Customers who have existing baseboard or wall heating should turn down thermostats in unused rooms and close the door. The same goes for lights. They should be turned off any in rooms not being used.
    • Layer up and lower the thermostat. During the day, customers should set their thermostat at 68 degrees. As the temperature drops outside, this will make furnaces work less to keep the temperature comfortable in the home. At night or when they’re away, customers should drop their thermostat to 55 to save as much as 10% on their heating costs. Set smart thermostats at these thresholds to ensure even and efficient heating throughout the day and night.
    • Let the sun shine in. Using the natural warmth of the sun can help heat customers’ homes and give furnaces a break. Customers should open shades on south-facing windows during the day to let the sun in and close them at night to keep the warmth inside.
    • Wash laundry in cold water. By washing clothes in cold water, customers can save almost 90% of the energy needed to run a normal load. Even switching from the warm setting to the cold setting on half of loads can deliver significant savings.

    For more information on how to conserve energy, click here.

  • PUD Partners With the Washington National Guard
    6/30/2020

    Snohomish County Public Utility District is partnering with the Washington National Guard in piloting a critical infrastructure cybersecurity partnership program. This program draws on the region’s military and information technology talent to increase cybersecurity awareness in support of local government entities and county residents.

    As part of the program, the Washington National Guard will conduct a cybersecurity assessment of the PUD's information technology networks, which support critical infrastructure. The assessment is scheduled to occur in August 2020. Following the assessment, the National Guard will provide a report of findings and recommendations to the PUD, which will help it strengthen the cybersecurity of the services that its customers rely upon.

    The PUD is excited to partner with the Washington National Guard in the building of strategies to increase the cyber-resiliency of the nation.

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425-783-8411
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