Puget Sound Power & Light Co. (PSPL) has asked the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to approve a plan that would allow large customers to access electricity at market cost, and all customers to choose their electric suppliers within five years. The proposal is contingent upon approval of PSPL's proposed merger with Washington Energy Co. and its subsidiary Washington Natural Gas Co.
An "optional large power sales rate" would allow PSPL's largest customers (i.e., all high-voltage customers and those served at primary voltage with aggregated loads over 2.4 megawatts on one distribution feeder) to choose between electricity at current market cost and availability. Customers that choose the market-based rate will move to a new class of noncore customers. PSPL would no longer plan resources to serve their needs; customers would assume the risk when electric prices become volatile. Once the transition charge is reduced to zero, the effective rate for an average high-voltage customer's delivery service would be 9 mills per kilowatt-hour (Kwh). Assuming a market cost for nonfirm energy of 13.5 mills/Kwh, the effective bundled delivery and energy price would be 22.5 mills/Kwh (2.25 cents).