Public hearing set on PSE merger, rate-boost requests

Customers of Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will be able to comment to state regulators on the utility’s proposed merger and request to increase electricity and natural gas rates at a public meeting in Bellevue May 15.

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 3:26pm
  • News

Customers of Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will be able to comment to state regulators on the utility’s proposed merger and request to increase electricity and natural gas rates at a public meeting in Bellevue May 15.

The meeting, at 6:30 p.m., will be at Bellevue Community College, Room 130 B, 3000 Landerholm Circle S.E., Bellevue.

Customers who wish to comment on PSE’s merger or rate-hike proposal can direct their correspondence to: P.O. Box 47250 Olympia, Washington 98504 or via e-mail at Comment forms also will be available at the Woodinville meeting.

In December 2007, PSE asked the UTC for approval to collect additional revenues of $174.5 million for electric customers and $56.7 million for natural gas customers. If approved, the utility estimates an average residential customer would see electric rates increase about 12 percent or about $10.48 a month. PSE is requesting a $3 increase in the basic monthly charge for electricity customers.

The company also is proposing to raise the basic monthly natural gas charge from $8.25 to $18, while reducing the average rate per therm of gas consumed from 31 to 23.7 cents. The net effect of this proposal is that a typical residential natural-gas bill would rise by about 6 percent, or about $4.60 a month.

Recommendations to the commission from all parties are due May 23 on the rate case and June 18 for the merger proposal. The commission will make a final decision in November.

In another proceeding, Puget has requested the commission approve the sale of the electric and gas utility to an investor group from Australia, Canada and the United States. The company filed the request last December. The transaction is valued at $7.4 billion. PSE has asked for UTC purchase approval by Sept. 2.

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