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PUC considers surcharge increase
By John Bowman, Siskiyou Daily News 6/19/12
Actual costs

For residential services, the surcharge rate would be increased from 0.179 to 0.202 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

PacifiCorp calculates that the surcharge rate revision will increase the bill of an average residential customer using 900 kWh per month by approximately $0.21 per month.

The increase in the surcharge rate will result in the $13.76 million being collected equally over a period of 93 months, which will result in an annual collection rate of approximately $1.73 million per year over the nearly 8-year period.

Under the dam removal agreement, PacifiCorp’s customers will cover the first $200 million of dam removal costs. Any costs over $200 million would be covered by the state of California, up to an additional $250 million.

In the federal government’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for dam removal, the “most likely” total cost for dam removal is estimated to be $297 million.

Siskiyou County’s objections

Siskiyou County Counsel Tom Guarino said, “With the Secretary [of the Interior] putting off his determination and the flaws that we’ve seen in the actual underlying scientific work that’s been done, the justification for this fee appears even more shaky than it was.”

According to Guarino, “it doesn’t make sense to burden ratepayers with an increase in surcharge collection for a process that may not even take place.”

Siskiyou County, in itsfiled response to PacifiCorp’s request to accelerate collection said, “Considering the negative outlook for federal legislation, the lack of approval for necessary funding from the state of California, and the lack of agreement or environmental analysis for such fundamental deal points as the Keno transfer, the prospects for implementation of the KHSA are becoming increasingly dismal.”

The document concludes by urging the commission “to reject PacifiCorp’s Petition for Modification, consider revisiting the propriety of the original levy, and encourage the Klamath parties to proceed with amendments to the [dam removal agreement] that will rearrange the sequencing of conditions and events so that California ratepayers are not called upon for financial contributions until the other prerequisites to moving forward with the settlement agreements demonstrate a certainty of realization.”




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