October 29, 2001
State regulators deny PSE rate hike again
In an Oct. 4 ruling, state regulators denied Puget Sound Energy's (PSE) emergency proposal that would have increased its average residential customer's bill by 18 percent. The proposal further sought to tie wholesale energy cost fluctuations to its customers' energy bills. According to PSE, these requests stemmed from the company's need to recoup some $84 million in projected losses incurred by buying and selling power in a spot market made volatile by California's energy deregulation and the imposition of wholesale-energy price caps by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In its ruling, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) said the company demonstrated no dire need of rate or accounting relief.
On Oct. 12 PSE filed for reconsideration of the ruling. Last week the WUTC once again rejected the company's bid for a rate hike. Though PSE provided comments from bond-rating agencies about its financial health, the commission said it did not provide additional internal information to prove its case.