10 Things You Should Know About PUDs

Posted Thursday, March 12, 2020

In 1929, the Washington State Grange, a populist agricultural organization, collected more than 60,000 signatures – twice the number necessary – to send Initiative No. 1 to the Legislature, allowing rural communities to form their own publicly owned utilities. Here are 10 facts you should know about your Public Utility District …


1. PUDs are locally-controlled, not-for-profit utilities owned and held accountable by the communities they serve.

2. Decisions that affect service, reliability and rates are made at the local level by a locally-elected PUD Board of Commissioners.

3. The authority of public utility districts stems from the citizens of Washington who passed Initiative No. 1 in 1930 allowing for the formation of PUDs.

4. The Washington State Grange led the movement to establish PUDs as farmers and rural communities sought access to affordable electricity.

5. It’s only through a public vote that a PUD may be formed.

6. There are 28 operating PUDs in Washington State.

7. PUDs provide electrical, water and wastewater, and wholesale telecommunications services in 27 counties across the state.

8. PUDs in Washington provide some of the lowest rates in the country.

9. PUDs operate with transparency setting rates and making policy decisions in open public meetings.

10. PUDs have a long history of promoting conservation as the least-costly and most environmentally friendly resource.