WUTC Requires PSE to Credit Proceeds from Jefferson PUD Sale to Customers

On September 11, 2014, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Washington Commission) ordered Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to credit ratepayers about $53 million.  This credit was related to the proceeds of the sale of PSE’s assets to the Public Utility District No. 1 of Jefferson County (Jefferson PUD). 

Jefferson PUD is Washington’s newest publicly owned utility and was formed in 2013.  Voters authorized the creation of the PUD and the purchase or condemnation of PSE’s assets in a 2008 election.  Jefferson PUD then purchased PSE’s distribution assets in 2010 to serve its customers.  Jefferson PUD will buy about 38 megawatts of electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration to meet the needs of its approximately 18,000 electricity customers.  Jefferson PUD is eligible to purchase electricity from BPA because it is a publicly owned utility.  BPA has allocated the rights to purchase its low cost electricity among its existing public utility customers; however, BPA also has made exceptions for new publicly owned utilities like Jefferson PUD.

PSE obtained about $109 million in proceeds from the sale of its distribution system to Jefferson PUD.  PSE proposed to return about $15 million to its customers, which was opposed by the Washington Commission staff and consumer advocates.  In a unanimous decision, the Washington Commission decided to require PSE to return about half of the proceeds of the sale to its customers. 



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