PUD 1 receives its power from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) which runs the hydroelectric system in the Northwest. Back in the mid-1990’s the federal government passed a new energy bill which gave some of the benefits of the hydro system back to investor-owned utilities (IOUs) like Puget Sound Energy. The IOUs complained that preference customers, like Mason PUD 1, that received their power from the federal hydro system have more benefits of the system than IOUs did. Their argument was that federal money was used to build the system so all tax payers should benefit from it. As a result, $50 million a year was given to IOUs to level the playing field. Today, that number is about $250 million per year.
We (public power) protested this and we went to court over it. Read more