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PUD announces fee increases

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

The Truckee Donner Public Utility District will raise electric connection charges for the first time since 1997 as an incentive for customers to install underground connections as opposed to overhead (above ground) connections.

The increased electric connection charges will be a $60 or 7.5 percent increase for overhead connection and a $10 or 1.17 percent increase for underground connections. The ordinance for the fee increase was approved by the TDPUD Board of Directors at last week’s regular board meeting.

“We’re trying to accomplish two things,” said TDPUD General Manager Peter Holzmeister. “We have not changed our electric connection charges for seven years and over that amount of time what happened is the charges aren’t covering our costs. We’re trying to make up some of our revenue loss. The other reason is we want to try to equalize the overhead and underground electric charges.”

According to Holzmeister, when district staff looked into equalizing the connection charges based on suggestions by area contractors, they discovered the a revenue shortfall for both overhead and underground connections. As presented at the meeting, in1998 the district had a $9,400 revenue shortfall for the 159 overhead connections ($59 per connection); and a $2,074 shortfall for the 85 underground connections ($24 per connection).

In the past, the cost for underground connections was quite a bit higher than overhead connections. The vast majority of customers who use overhead installations use temporary installations (with temporary power poles), which cost $800; and most who purchase underground connections use permanent installation, which cost $850. With the new charge increase, these two connections will both cost $860.

Holzmeister said that equalizing the price will hopefully give people the incentive to purchase underground connection.

“We’re willing to discount it (underground installation) from the true cost so people will have more of an incentive to install underground connections,” he said.

Underground electric connections are better for two reasons: aesthetically, it looks nicer without the poles and wires showing above ground and also it is not as subject to storm damage, said Holzmeister.

Under the new ordinance, the fee schedule will offer the following choices for connections:

– Overhead connections will cost $685 for permanent installation and $860 for temporary installation.

– Underground connections will cost $860 for permanent installation and $1,085.

The fee increases will be effective as of July 4.


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