...a community-owned and governed utility, created to provide safe, reliable and cost-based electric and wholesale telecommunication services...
Local supporters of Mason County PUD No. 3 planted the seed for today's electrical utility in 1934 by filing a petition with the Mason County Auditor for the formation of a countywide PUD. The measure was placed on the November 1934 general election ballot.
Meanwhile backers of Mason County PUD No. 1 had been working on getting a ballot measure ready for their service area since 1932.
Despite strong opposition from private power interests, the ballot measures to form PUD 1 and PUD 3 in Mason County were approved by the voters on November 6, 1934.
There was an effort to create a public utility district (PUD 2) in the Agate area of Mason County, just east of Shelton. Eventually, supporters of PUD 2 withdrew their petition and joined the countywide movement to form PUD 3.
In May of 1939, Mason County PUD No. 3 began its service to the public by providing electricity to eight customers. By the end of 1940, PUD 3 was serving 318 rural customers.
In 1941, the PUD purchased the properties of West Coast Power Company, adding the Shelton and Kamilche Valley areas to its service area. By that time the number of customers in the PUD service area was just over 2,200.
In April of 1948 the PUD acquired Puget Sound Power and Light properties in the northeastern part of Mason County, adding 1,031 new customers and more than 700 miles of power lines.
Until 1948, Mason County PUD No. 3 received electricity from the Tacoma City Light's Cushman hydroelectric facility on Hood Canal. In that year, the PUD signed a wholesale power supply contract with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). PUD 3 has purchased virtually all its electricity from BPA since that time.
As of 2008, PUD No. 3 provides electricity to over 32,000 customers in most of Mason County and small portions of Kitsap, Grays Harbor, and Pierce Counties. PUD 3 owns and operates eleven substations and has almost 1,600 miles of overhead and underground lines to serve its customers. The PUD also provides wholesale telecommunications services in its service area through a fiber optic network. There are approximately 400 connections to this system.