Commissioners OK draft budget with no price increase

The draft 2018 budget proposes no increase in electric prices and a three percent decrease in water prices. EWEB Commissioners at their Oct. 3 meeting expressed unanimous support for the draft budget.

This spring, we launched the Affordability Initiative to make the prices we charge customers for water and power more affordable, and to create the financial capacity for investments that support our newly-adopted strategic plan.

We are executing this strategic effort to control costs through efficiency improvements, workforce reductions, debt restructuring and program adjustments. The first goal of the initiative is the permanent reduction of $15 million from EWEB’s budget by 2020. We are making significant progress on this important goal.

This initiative, coupled with efforts over the past two years to reduce debt, lower operating costs and defer or delay certain capital projects, is already showing results. Going into 2018, EWEB is in the best fiscal shape we’ve been in over the past decade.

Holding the line on–and reducing–electric and water prices are demonstrable actions that provide tangible results to our customers.

“But our objective is not just cost and workforce reductions,” said GM Frank Lawson. “The much-improved financial position creates the financial headroom for EWEB to make the strategic choices that benefit our customers now and in the decades to come.”

The Board will hold additional discussions and public hearings on the proposed 2018 budget at their November and December meetings, and will approve the final budget at the Dec. 5 meeting.