Residential Demand Charge

What is Demand?

Demand is a measurement of the maximum amount of power required during any one-hour interval within a billing period, measured in kilowatts (kW). Simply put, energy is the amount of power you consume, while demand measures your impact on our electric distribution system to deliver that power.

The more appliances you run at the same time, the more your demand for power increases.

Why did the PUD Add a Demand Charge?

The Demand charge is not a new charge. It has always been embedded in the energy rates.

We are separating out the Demand charge from the Energy charge. This will allow us to assign costs that are directly related to demand, and not based on total energy consumption. These are the costs related to maintaining our distribution system.

Customers will still see an Energy charge for the total amount of energy they consume during a billing period. That Energy charge will be reduced once the Demand charge is separated out.

The new unbundled rate structure with separate Demand and  Energy charges will allow customers to see exactly how much they pay for the energy they actually use (the energy costs from BPA, our power provider), and how much they pay toward the costs that we incur to deliver and distribute that energy to them.

What is the Demand Charge?

The Demand charge is a variable charge that covers the costs of maintaining our distribution system, including poles, wires, substations, trucks, and line crews.

It is determined by the energy demand during a billing period. It is calculated by taking the highest demand recorded in a billing period (kW) and multiplying it by a demand rate (currently set at $1.00 per kW).

The more high-energy appliances the customer uses at the same time within a one-hour period, the higher the demand.

An illustration that using several appliances at once will increase your Demand usage.
Using several electric appliances at the same time will increase your Demand usage.
An illustration showing how spreading your electric usage over a period of time can reduce your Demand Usage.
Spreading your electric appliance use over a period of time will reduce your Demand usage.

How Will it Affect My Bill?

The impact of separating the Demand charge from the Energy charge will vary from customer to customer. You can see how it will impact your bill by using our Residential Demand Charge Calculator.

If you still have questions about the Demand charge, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page. If that page does not answer your question, please call us at (503) 397-0590.