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Economic and dam related articles

Ellensburg City Council Indicates
Local Electricity Rates will Rise

by Barb Owens
Daily Record, November 10, 2011

Responding to a recent 11.5 percent increase in power costs charged to the city of Ellensburg by the Bonneville Power Administration, the City Council conducted a first reading Monday of an ordinance that will shift part of the extra cost to customers over two years.

With the increase, residential customers will pay an extra $3.22 per month than what they's paying now. General service customers will see an increase of $2.28 per month or $9.19 per month, depending on the phase of services.

The security lighting rate class will see a $1.01 monthly increase; $1.11 for a light with a pole. The municipal rate class will increase $14.71 per month.

The city did not take action to recover additional costs of serving Central Washington University because by contract, CWU's rate is tied to the BPA rate.

The costs for low-income senior citizens, low-income disabled citizens and nonprofits serving the disadvantaged will not increase.

The increase will take effect Dec. 1. If the city did not pass an increase it would lose an estimated $716,678 for 2012.

The city is implementing increases to customers over two-years because significant changes to BPA's rate structure make it difficult for the city to estimate costs under varying weather and load scenarios.

After several months of operating under the new rate structure, the city should better be able to estimate future costs and ensure that its rate model is accurate, said Bob Titus, director of energy services.

The two-year strategy also eases the burden on customers, he said. A similar increase likely will be proposed in September 2012, Titus said.

Barb Owens
Ellensburg City Council Indicates Local Electricity Rates will Rise
Daily Record, November 10, 2011

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