Western Area Power Administration​’s goal is to maintain the reliability and safety of its transmission system while managing power delivery costs and meeting our repayment responsibilities.

In partnership with affiliated generating agencies and customers, WAPA controls costs, coordinates funding agreements and prioritizes construction and rehabilitation projects.

Each year, Congress appropriates funds to finance operation and maintenance and construction and rehabilitation activities for many of our power systems. Because legislation requires that those who benefit from Federal investments repay the U.S. Treasury, we set power rates to recover all costs associated with our activities and generating agencies’ power-related activities. Power revenue must also cover the Federal investment in power and transmission facilities (with interest) and certain costs assigned to power, such as aid to irrigation development.

Power revenue also funds portions of WAPA’s purchase power and wheeling activities. Drought conditions and other factors sometimes require WAPA to purchase power from other suppliers to meet long-term firm power contract commitments.


WAPA receives funding from a variety of sources, including annual Congressional appropriations, customer-advanced funding and alternative financing. Alternative financing includes bill crediting, which credits a customer’s bill when the customer makes a payment on WAPA’s behalf to a WAPA purchase power supplier, and net billing, which nets a customer’s bill after WAPA acquires energy or wheeling from that customer. WAPA also has the ability to use some power sale receipts to fund purchase power and wheeling.​


Planning for future projects and funding needs requires looking ahead.

Learn more about WAPA’s 10-Year Capital Planning process and projections.


Unobligated balances serve as WAPA’s main capital funding tool, assuring sufficient funding for WAPA projects and ensure WAPA is in compliance with the Contribution Funds Act and Anti-Deficiency Act. The practice of using unobligated balances has been in place since the founding of the Western Area Power Administration in 1977. WAPA was recently audited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2015 which found that the unobligated balances practice was managed effectively. The report also recommended that WAPA finalize and implement a strategy to reduce excess funds in one account, which was finalized fall 2016. ​


WAPA’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget process officially begins with budget guidance contained in a memo​ from WAPA Administer and CEO Mark Gabriel. The guidance follows WAPA’s Strategic Roadmap 2024 and Tactical Action Plans to navigate the changing industry environment and continue delivering safe and reliable power to its customers. The new guidance includes budget formulation milestones for FY 2020.​

Last modified on September 29th, 2023