Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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BPA Residential Exchange Credit

The BPA “residential exchange credit” was developed to share with customers the benefits of the Federal Columbia River Power System. This credit will offset higher BPA costs and keep rates stable for residential customers.

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about this credit.

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What is the BPA residential exchange?

The “residential exchange credit” was enacted in the early 1980s by the U.S. Congress to equitably allocate the benefits of the Northwest federal power system (also known as the Federal Columbia River Power System) among public power utilities such as the PUD and investor-owned utilities. The actual credit provided to public utilities and investor-owned utilities has varied year to year since its inception. The credit affects overall expenses that the PUD and other utilities pay for energy from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).

How does the BPA credit affect customers’ rates?

For residential customers, the credit helps offset a separate BPA rate increase. As of October 1, 2015, PUD residential customers begin receiving the credit consistent with the start of BPA’s fiscal year. PUD customers last benefited from a BPA credit during the federal agency’s fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.

Does the residential exchange credit change year to year?

The residential exchange credit varies year to year, depending on BPA's various cost components and the PUD's expected adjustments in major power resources. The result is that the overall expense for BPA energy varies for the PUD over time. The PUD applies to BPA every two years to see if it is eligible to receive credits. The utility's residential and small farm customers are eligible to receive credits beginning October 1, 2015.