bvesbear-thumbIt has been 13 years since Bear Valley Electric customers have experienced a general base rate increase but, come the November billing cycle, the base rate for electricity will go up 15.85 percent. In September, Administrative Law Judge Farrar ruled with a proposed decision in the BVES rate case and, as of October 15, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted the proposed settlement, which was agreed upon between BVES and the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (an independent consumer advocacy division of the CPUC) this summer. Though Snow Summit had proposed an amendment to the agreement, which was reviewed via teleconference with the CPUC and the DRA on October 9, the CPUC denied the suggestions of the resort, as it would have translated to higher rates for the residential customer class. All told, the general rate increase will not be an overall 22.7 percent, as originally proposed by Bear Valley Electric’s parent company Golden State Water in 2008 but will, given the summer settlement, be an overall increase to customers of 19.97 percent phased in over four years. In year one, 2009, which will begin in November, customers’ base rate will increase 15.85 percent; in 2010, an additional increase of 2.94 percent will be phased in, with a .83 increase due in 2011 and .35 percent in 2012. However, there is some good news for electric customers, given additional proponents of the rate case. According to Bear Valley Electric’s Operations Manager Ken Markling, “Some of the benefits to our customers coming out of this rate case are monthly billing, increased baseline allowance, an energy efficiency program, improved eligibility for our CARE program, and accelerated automatic meter reading.“