The PLVC Utilities Committee met with representatives of PUD, Jim Parker, General Manager, Bill Graham, District Resource Manager, and Kevin Streett, District Electrical Superintendent.  The guests discussed how their billing system works and answered questions that have been raised by the community.

They indicated that PUD collects meter reading by radio equipment which automatically updates the billing system; it is not manually entered into customer’s billings.  The older meters are mechanical and could be giving slightly lower readings due to wear; but, it is virtually impossible for them to “overread” resulting in higher charges to customers.  Customers are encouraged to compare their actual meter readings to what is shown on their statement.  Taking a picture with a smartphone or camera about mid-month is an easy way to do that.

The recently redone PUD website has been enhanced with a “Smart Hub” that enables customers to research their billings and even look at historical usage on a daily basis.  With that information, customers can compare what is charged with what activities are taking place in their residence at the same time.

The Degree Day system (which plots daily temperatures below 65⁰, instead of a daily average) gives customers a better of electrical usage than Average Temperature data.  Average temperature will still show up on the bill.  However, customers should familiarize themselves with Degree Day on the Smart Hub.

Customer Service Representatives, of which there are two additional ones being hired, will receive continued training to help explain variations in customer bills.

Jim Parker, GM, is available to discuss particular customer situations.  Give him a call if you need additional help in understanding your billing. His phone number is 360-385-5800.

Part of the presentation concerned upgrades to the electrical system in Jefferson County since its purchase from Puget Sound Energy (PSE).  In the three years since the acquisition from PSE it has maintained electrical rates which are now possibly the lowest in the state.

Acquisition of the electrical system resulted in “getting everything from PSE”.  Subsequently, new software integration of a more efficient and effective type has alleviated most questions and is resulting in greater visibility of the billing, accounting, and system outage areas.

A new 5-year Strategic Plan (updated annually) reflects best management practices and lessons learned – it is living document, not a static document.

The web site is undergoing improvements because of customer usage and feedback. Your ability to find, track, and understand your information and usage is a result of your feedback.

System-wide upgrades include a new substation transformer.  Acquisition of Clallam PUDs transmission lines within Jefferson County will ensure outages, like some of our previous ones, will be reduced since power sharing between PUDs will be allowed.

The three past outages, which qualify for FEMA reimbursement.  Major tree thinning is on the capital budget and scheduled.  In addition, underground conduits are being install in the worst areas.  In the conservation arena, over $2,000,000 has been spent for upgrades in both homes and businesses.

Within the Port Ludlow service area:

  1. A new circuit has been constructed.
  2. There has been an upgrade to the Port Ludlow Substation.
  3. Balanced loads have been introduced to Port Ludlow circuits.
  4. Installed reclosers with SCADA
  5. Tree trimming along supply lines to Port Ludlow.
  6. Intertie between Bywater and Paradise Bay.

The PUD is working for us. We have local control:  the Board of Commissioners meet twice a month (public meetings) and a Board of Commissioners Citizen Advisory Board (CAB), of which one member also serves on the PLVC Board of Directors – hint, hint – there are opening on several Citizens Advisory Boards within Jefferson County that need District 3 representation – get on one of them if you’re interested in Port Ludlow’s and Jefferson County’s future.  Go to the County website to see the opening – make Port Ludlow heard.