The purpose of the PLVC as stated in our Article of Incorporation continues to be threefold: Be a unifying force by building consensus, maintain and preserve trails and open space, promote the general interests of the community. To accomplish those purposes, the past year has seen the settlement of the tree harvest dispute in conjunction with LMC
Due to the numerous postings on Nextdoor about Arsenic in recent days, OWSI has provided the following information:
The portion of the Port Ludlow water system that supplies South Bay and customers in North Bay East and South of Oak Bay Road are served by blended water from Wells 14 and 16. This blending is done because Well 14 has a higher level of Arsenic and blending it with water from Well 16 results in water that is below the Washington State Department of Health maximum contamination level of 10 parts per billion (ppb). Other customers, in North Bay, are served by wells that do not have higher levels of Arsenic.
OWSI samples the blended water from Wells 14 and 16 on a quarterly basis and the laboratory submits the results directly to the State. Over the past year, the sample results are as follows:
January (Private Sample)
OWSI has prepared an information sheet on Arsenic which can be accessed by going to UTILITIES COMMITTEE PAGE. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Larry Smith, OWSI President at 360-437-8246. The State Department of Health recommends if you have any concern about health risks, you should seek advice from your health provider.
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.
A 40 foot cedar tree along Paradise Bay was precariously close to falling across the road and could have taken out the electric, telephone and cable lines that are above ground at that location. Residents voiced their concern about this situation to the PLVC Utilities Committee in February. It appeared that the widening of Paradise Bay Road last year resulted in the hillside bank being close to the base of the tree. Determining who owned the property and the tree took a little time, but eventually, Jefferson County determined that they should take down the tree. It was removed on May 21st.
The PLVC Utilities Committee identified a tree that appeared to be in danger of falling and taking out utility lines across Paradise Bay Road at Fairwind Court.
Utilities committee contacted PUD, PLA, and then Jefferson County who examined the tree and determined it is in the road right of way and should be taken down. The County will be hiring personnel to remove the tree.
Notification has been requested when work is to be done.
If you have questions about your current bills from PUD, PLVC Utilities Committee encourages you to visit the PUD website, www.jeffpud.org for a wealth of information. There are many articles of a general nature and also specifically about your bill. Start by clicking on the SMARTHUB, logging onto your account and searching around for information about your usage and billing. Below is an article from the PUD that discusses one element of changing electric bills.
Using heating degree days verses average daily temperature to explain your high bill
While the change in the weather is the simplest reason for the rise in customer bills, it’s not that simple. There are two tools we use to inform customers about the rise in heating demand, but one is a clear standout over the other.
We use average daily temperature of comparable billing periods as a general tool on our customer statements to help them understand the impact that the weather has on their bill. That difference between billing periods alone really doesn’t tell the whole story about how hard your heating system is working, especially on a daily basis – which is how you are billed for the electricity you use. The average can only tell a general story about your usage.
The energy industry more widely uses a measure called “Heating Degree Days”. Heating degree days allows for a more accurate means of determining fuel or electrical usage required to heat a building for residential and commercial purposes. Its a better measure of how much work your heating system has to do to keep you comfortable. A heating degrees day is the difference between the daily average outdoor temperature and a baseline indoor temperature of 65 degrees. The sum of those daily calculations for a month – or a billing period – better captures the impacts of short cold snaps than a monthly average can. To demonstrate how different this is from average daily temperature, look at this chart supplied to us by a customer:
Average Daily Temperature
Heating Degree Days
Bills changed by far more than 17.6% during that period and were closer to a 150% change. Why? Much like your electric bill itself, heating degrees are additive, so it reflects your incremental or day to day usage of electricity (kilowatt hours) . An average daily temperature for a billing period does not capture the day to day impact that cold snaps have on your electrical usage because it’s an average. You are billed for your incremental use, not average use. So an energy indicator that is additive like your energy bill is going to better reflect your actual power usage.
In the new year, the PUD will resume posting heating degree day information to help make better sense of what is going on when electric bills suddenly increase. The source of data is from the City of Tacoma. Please go to our Heating Degree Report page for more information. It is always available on our “Electric” dropdown menu.