NEW PAYMENT SCAM WARNING!!!
There is a new scam hitting our area. Several of our customers have received a phone call stating that their electricity will be disconnected unless they pay immediately. Some customers are being told to go to Walmart and purchase a Blue Walmart Prepaid Credit Card others are told to call an 800 number. These calls are NOT coming from Trinity PUD. If in doubt always call our office, not a toll free number.
P.O. Box 1216
26 Ponderosa Ln.
Weaverville, CA 96093
(530) 623-5536 Customer Service
(530) 623-4564 Administration
(530) 623-5537 Operations
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
To Request Installation of an Electric Service to a piece of property or building that does not have existing service please call:
WHY IS THE DROUGHT RELIEF SURCHARGE STILL ON MY BILL???
As California is experiencing one of the wettest seasons on record, we are getting a lot of questions at Trinity PUD about why the Drought Surcharge is still in place.
Trinity PUD first implemented the Drought Surcharge in May 2009 following two consecutive years of below average precipitation. The Drought Surcharge was removed in May 2011. The winter of 2011 was the beginning of the recent five year drought in California so the surcharge was implemented once again in May 2013. The 2015/2016 water year was slightly below an average water-year. The 2016/2017 water-year may set a record as the wettest since record keeping began. Since Trinity PUD’s Drought Surcharge rate does not allow the surcharge to begin until we experience two consecutive years of below average precipitation (according to the April Bulletin 120), the surcharge is not removed until there have been two consecutive years of above average precipitation. This allows for additional rate stability, but causes customers to question the Drought Surcharge on their bills when it is raining. No one questions the absence of the surcharge during the first year of a drought.
In addition to the temporary cost impacts of the drought, Trinity PUD is also experiencing permanent cost increases as a result of changes in the way the Bureau of Reclamation is managing water. As an example, the Trinity Restoration program is releasing 815,000 acre-feet of water into the Trinity River this year. This represents 33% of the entire Trinity Lake storage. If this amount of water was sold and allowed to generate power, the value would exceed $60 million. If half as much water were released down the Trinity River the Bureau of Reclamation could generate an additional $30 million in value. While water and power costs vary significantly based on different water-years, on average Trinity PUD pays about 5% of the total cost to operate the dams and the federal power lines that deliver energy. This means the $30 million in additional value would translate into $1.5 million in reduced cost for Trinity PUD. This represents more than 12% of Trinity PUD’s entire budget.
Unfortunately Trinity PUD’s financial reserves have been significantly reduced from pre-drought levels. Since 2012 Trinity PUD’s contingency reserves have fallen every year and have dropped from $10.5 million to a projected $3.2 million this year. This path is obviously unsustainable. Fortunately, this year’s exceptional precipitation will ultimately reduce Trinity PUD’s power cost. We begin to see a reduction in power cost in April and likely will see an additional reduction in October, though that won’t be known for several more months. We hope that this will allow Trinity PUD to recover some of the lost financial reserves to help prepare for the next drought or winter storm.
It has become clear to Trinity PUD’s Management and Board of Directors that the days of stable federal power costs are over. Climate experts are telling us to expect additional severe droughts in the years ahead. And, the Central Valley Project is incurring huge costs for river restoration projects, not only on the Trinity, but the Sacramento and other rivers as well, while the amount and value of power generation has been reduced to meet environmental policy goals. While the costs attributable to the recent drought stand to moderate somewhat, these other costs are likely to continue to escalate. No matter how they are labelled on your Trinity PUD bill going forward, increased costs of federal power of necessity will be passed on to our customers. These cost pressures are being experienced by every other utility with dependence on federal power, but they are magnified for us because our federal power dependency is 100%. You can rest assured that the Board and Management of Trinity PUD remain strongly committed to continue bringing renewable, reliable, low-cost electric service to our customers while maintaining the financial strength of the District.
Paul Hauser, General Manager