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Local power bills may be going up again next year

November 13th, 2012 - 6:15am

(Portland, OR) - Local utilities may have to take another big wholesale power rate increase next year.

The Bonneville Power Administration wants to raise rates it charges utilities 9.6 percent to make up for lower surplus power sales due to competition from power plants running on low-cost natural gas.

The federal agency said last week it needs the money for maintenance and upgrades for the dams and nuclear power plant that produce its power.

BPA also wants a 13 percent increase in fees it charges utilities to move power on 15,000 miles of transmission lines.

The latest round of increases follow on rate hikes passed on to Clallam PUD and Port Angeles city light customers recently due to a continued climb in wholesale rates.

Last year, Clallam PUD raised rates three percent on local customers after local officials said they could no longer absorb the BPA's increases.

The BPA adjusts its rates every two years. Following a review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, new rates will go into effect Oct. 1 2013.

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