In 1936, Public Utility District No. 1 of Lewis County (District) was voted into being and the first commissioners were elected: Martin Jacobsen, A.H. McCall and R.B. Peters. In 1938, construction began on about 66 miles of rural lines and in March 1939, the Alpha section of the line was energized. The first electric bills were mailed on April 1, 1939 to approximately 60 customers. Now, the District serves over 31,000 customers over approximately 3,370 miles of energized distribution lines.
Public Utility District No. 1 of Lewis County (District) is a municipal corporation of the State of Washington, formed by the people of Lewis County to provide electric service. Public utility districts are governed by commissioners who are elected locally to represent specific districts within the service area of the utility. The District has a board of three commissioners who serve staggered six-year terms representing their respective districts.
There are twenty-eight public utility districts throughout the State of Washington. Each has the authority to provide electric, water and sewer service within its service area. The District provides electricity to approx 31,000 consumers through 3,370 miles of distribution line.
The District owns and operates the Cowlitz Falls Project which produces on average 261,000 megawatthours (Mwhrs) of electricity annually. This production is currently equal to 33% of the electric energy used by the District's customers. The District and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) cooperatively developed the Cowlitz Falls Project. The District is the owner of the Project, while the BPA has purchased the annual output under a long-term contract. In exchange for receiving the output of the Project, BPA pays all costs associated with its operation and maintenance. The District buys its power from BPA, so the power generated by the Cowlitz Falls Project helps supply the needs of Lewis County residents and businesses.
The District offers a variety of residential, commercial and industrial conservation programs. However these programs change from time to time. The District entered into an agreement to purchase a 6 MW share of the output of the Energy Northwest Nine Canyon Wind Project. The Project is expected to produce approximately 16,800 MWH of renewable energy annually for the District. The District maintains a voluntary low income energy assistance program known as Project Share and provides agency referral information for customers needing payment assistance.