As Tacoma Public Utilities adjusts rates in 2015, we understand that decisions we make will impact you. We take that responsibility seriously.
It’s our job to provide services that are vital to your quality of life. To continue to provide reliable, high-quality service, Tacoma Power and Tacoma Water must invest in their systems.
Tacoma Power owns and operates an extensive system that requires constant maintenance and upgrades. The utility operates and maintains seven hydroelectric dams, nearly 2,300 miles of power lines and dozens of substations. Tacoma Water must maintain its 1,350 miles of pipe, 27,000 valves, 10,000 fire hydrants and the many other components of its system.
Starting April 1, 2015, Tacoma Power residential rates increased for some customers and decreased for others, depending on where you live.
If you live in Tacoma, unincorporated Pierce County, Federal Way, Milton or Roy, your monthly electric bill will increase by about $2.20 per month.
If you live in Fife, your bill will decrease by about 70 cents per month. If you live in Fircrest, Lakewood, Steilacoom or University Place, your bill will decrease by about $3.75 per month.
Starting April 1, 2015, Tacoma Water residential rates also increased.
If you live in Tacoma, your monthly water bill will increase by about $1.50 per month, plus a $1.11 fee to cover the cost of fire hydrant service.
If you live in unincorporated Pierce County, your bill will increase by about $2.11. If you live in Fircrest, your bill will increase by about 37 cents. If you live in University Place, Puyallup or Lakewood, your bill will increase by about 31 cents. The hydrant fee is already included in the rates of residents who live outside of Tacoma.
Impact of franchise fees
The rate changes for different jurisdictions are related to franchise fees. Some jurisdictions charge Tacoma Power and Tacoma Water franchise fees to be their utility provider. A legal change requires TPU to now charge customers the same rate, no matter where they live.
Changes to the Tacoma Power customer charge
The customer charge also changed for residential customers this year, from $5.50 to $10.50. The charge covers costs for maintaining the system, including meter reading, account management and other customer service and system maintenance costs not covered in regular power rates. The customer charge has not changed since 1988.
View Environmental Services rates, set by the City of Tacoma.