Mason PUD 3 Commissioners have adopted a $71.5 million budget for 2018 that does not include an increase in local electricity prices —the second consecutive year the commission has passed a budget without a rate hike.

The adopted budget is about 8 percent higher than 2017. The PUD expects a 7.8 percent increase in the amount of electricity used next year by its customers, and a 4 percent increase in the sale of energy. This is due to improving economic forecasts and new sources of energy consumption coming online throughout 2018.

Local prices will stay the same even with an increase in the price of wholesale energy purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration. Budget highlights include the spending of at least $2.8 million next year to meet the state’s renewable energy law; $1 million for the district’s 40 percent share of a planned new substation; and the completion of the utility grid’s modernization project in 2018.