Taking over Puget Power will be expensive

April 27th, 2012 by Ken

If taxpayers in Thurston County opt for public power, it will be expensive. That’s the opinion of Ken Johnson, director of state policy and government affairs for Puget Sound Energy.

Johnson said that Puget Sound Energy’s assets in Thurston County total $500 million. When other costs are added, the price for public power could climb to nearly $1 billion.

Johnson made those remarks at a meeting of the Gateway Rotary Club.

The company lobbyist said that preliminary estimates by those in favor of public power were less, but the figures probably weren’t accurate. He pointed to Jefferson County, which converted to public power in 2008. A feasibility study estimated the company’s assets at $47 million for the 17,000 customers. The actual cost was $103 million.

Puget Sound Energy has 118,000 customers in Thurston County.

A signature gathering campaign is currently underway with the goal of presenting the Thurston County Commissioners with 12,000 signatures favoring public power. The commissioners can place a measure of the fall ballot with any number of alternatives and options.

Posted in Business, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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