Hermiston Energy Services (HES) To Adjust Retail Rates an Average Of 6.98% and 6.9% Percent in 2021
HERMISTON, Ore. – The Hermiston City Council on Monday approved adjustments to electric rates for all service classes effective January 1 and October 1, 2021.
Hermiston Energy Servies (HES) will adjust rates based on an independent Cost of Service Analysis and feedback from the City Council in October. HES will split adjustments into two parts; a 6.98% increase effective January 1 and a 6.9% increase in October 2021. Customer adjustments will vary based on actual usage.
The primary factor in the need to adjust rates has been increases in wholesale electricity prices. Over the last four (4) years, HES's wholesale power provider, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), has increased the cost by about 18% to HES. HES's wholesale power costs comprise over 54% of its total operating expenses.
"Rate increases are an unfortunate and unavoidable part of the utility business," said Nate Rivera, HES General Manager. "HES has made significant adjustments to its budget over the past two years by reducing all unnecessary spending, deferring some maintenance, and using financial reserves to delay a rate increase as long as possible. Unfortunately, this was not a sustainable long term solution, and required a rate adjustment to maintain a reliable and safe system for its customers."
The average residential customer will pay $117 in January and $124 in October.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the Oregon average electric bill for residential customers is $176.
Hermiston Energy Services last approved a 1.87% rate adjustment in 2018. Hermiston Energy serves more than 5,300 accounts in Hermiston, Oregon.