Electric Rates Could Decrease Againby Jeff Wright
The Register-Guard, August 27, 2006
While water rates are heading upward, electric rates at the Eugene Water & Electric Board actually may drop this fall - for the second time in as many years.
EWEB officials plan to propose a rate decrease of between 1 percent and 2 percent after learning that the cost of buying wholesale power from the federal Bonneville Power Administration will drop by at least 3 percent on Oct. 1.
BPA rates account for about half the total cost of providing power to EWEB customers.
EWEB commissioners in the past have indicated their intention to pass BPA rate changes, both up and down, directly to customers. Commissioners are expected to vote on a proposed rate reduction on Oct. 3.
EWEB officials say they are also hopeful of avoiding any electrical rate increase next spring, especially if a new power purchase agreement with Hynix is approved as proposed. EWEB's current contract with Hynix expires Sept. 30, and the utility wants a new one that better reflects the cost of providing power to the computer chip factory in west Eugene.
Electric rates were increased in May by an average of 5.8 percent for all users, and an average of 7.4 percent for residential customers. The typical residential user, using 1,050 kilowatt-hours per month, saw nearly a $6 per month increase, to $83.50.
Earlier, EWEB commissioners approved two decreases in rates in 2005. The decreases, totaling about 4 percent, were the first in at least 34 years.
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