In providing you with electric service, our largest expense is the cost of the wholesale power we buy from the Bonneville Power Administration. Purchased power and transmission services accounted for 63% of our total operating expenses last year. Changes in these expenses can have a big impact on our financial position.
BPA recently announced the rates for its next two-year rate period, which begins this October. At Hood River Co-op, we will pay about 15% more for our wholesale power
While this is a significant increase, rest assured we’re working hard to keep your rates affordable and stable. While we may make additional adjustments to our monthly basic charge, we don’t anticipate needing to increase the kilowatt-hour charge in 2024.
I also want to note we are in wildfire season. To reduce the risk of power line-caused fires during the dry summer and fall months, we use more sensitive settings on equipment designed to disrupt power if there is a fault on the lines. Because of this, some members may notice brief disruptions more frequently. If your power blinks off and back on, you don’t need to report it to us. But if it shuts off and stays off, please report it to us at (541) 354-1233.
We understand power interruptions are a nuisance, but we have an obligation to protect the community from the risk of a fault on our lines starting a fire. The more sensitive settings on equipment are one component of our comprehensive wildfire mitigation program, which also includes clearing vegetation from power line rights-of-way and moving high-risk overhead lines to underground.
One final note: Harvest is in high gear, and children are returning to school. Our employees are out and about working to maintain the electric lines that serve you, build more fiber internet services, and trim and remove trees growing near our lines so winter snow and ice are less of a problem.
As you are traveling around our beautiful valley, please drive slowly and keep an eye out for others. Thank you for driving carefully through work zones, and for obeying our flaggers and traffic signs. We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous fall season.
General Manager Libby Calnon