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Rates


We provide services vital to your quality of life

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.

New rates
Starting April 1, 2015, Tacoma Power residential rates will increase for some customers and decrease 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 will increase.

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 rates 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 is also changing 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. 



Why are rates changing?

Many factors drive the need to adjust rates, including keeping power and water systems safe and meeting required costs and regulations set by other organizations. Here are some of the reasons for rate changes this year: 

Tacoma Power
Tacoma Power buys more than half of its power from the Bonneville Power Administration. (The rest of the power comes from the utility’s seven dams.) BPA will increase rates by 7% in these two years, which drives up Tacoma Power’s costs.

And, to use the clean hydropower provided by our own seven dams, we have to meet a lot of federal licensing requirements. Some recent projects include two new hatcheries and a new fish collection facility at the Cushman Hydroelectric Project near Hoodsport.

Tacoma Water
Tacoma Water is in the final stages of completing the Green River Filtration Facility, estimated to cost $187 million. The facility will meet the federal requirement to treat our water supply for the parasite cryptosporidium. The filtration plant will be fully operational by May.

 

What You Can Do

Business customers
No matter what type of business you have, we have ways to reduce your electric use. We offer rebates and incentives on energy-saving lighting retrofits, HVAC system upgrades and compressed air efficiency projects, to name a few. We also offer free energy audits and energy bill profiles, as well as zero-interest loans. Learn more by checking out our energy efficiency programs or by calling (253) 502-8619.  

Residential customers
Our energy efficiency programs offer many ways to reduce your electric use, from instant rebates on compact fluorescent lights to rebates for insulating your home. Learn more by checking out our energy efficiency programs or by calling (253) 502-8377.