Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 87° Clear
News >  Business

Kootenai Electric planning rate hike

Utility cites BPA increase, cost of system upgrades

Kootenai Electric Cooperative members will pay almost 12 percent more for power starting next month, unless they can persuade the utility’s directors to modify their plans at a Sept. 29 hearing.

A pending 7.5 percent rate increase by the Bonneville Power Administration, which supplies all of Kootenai’s energy, and the cost of new substations and other system improvements made the increase necessary, spokesman Larry Bryant said.

The rate change has two components for residential customers: a boost in the monthly service charge, from $10 to $16.50, and higher charges for the electricity itself.

Instead of 6.2 cents for all kilowatt-hours, customers will pay 6.4 cents for up to 2,500 kWh, and 7.3 cents for anything above that threshold. Less than 10 percent of Kootenai’s 20,000 residential members use more than 2,500 kWh, Bryant said, and only during the winter heating months.

“We really wanted to send a conservation signal,” he said.

The proposal would lift the average residential bill $8.50 per month.

Kootenai last raised rates in 2006, when a very favorable contract with Bonneville expired, lifting rates above 1993 levels for the first time in 13 years.

Kootenai Electric has about 20,000 residential customers, mostly in Kootenai County.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.