The fixed service charge for residential customers will start to increase from the current $10.25 a month to $30, or $360 a year, by 2019. The increase for small commercial customers will rise from $13.53 to $33 each month or $396 per year.
By Cody Winchester, World-Herald staff writer
Board members Tom Barrett and Tim Gay voted no. Both said OPPD officials hadn’t provided enough detail on a new bill credit program intended to mitigate the impact of the change to low-income customers. Gay said the changes are too sweeping — why not go a year at a time, he asked fellow board members. “What’s the rush? “We’re making a four-year rate adjustment with one vote,” he said . . . Barrett said he couldn’t support the plan because it reduces the incentive to conserve energy and translates into higher bills for many low-income customers. OPPD has estimated that six in 10 low-income customers would see higher bills under the new rates. “I’m just tired of us living in relative comfort and having a blind eye to people who aren’t as fortunate as we are,” said Barrett, who represents east and north Omaha.
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ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Utility Dive: Nebraska municipal utilities move to increase fixed charges, by Herman K. Trabish
Lincoln Journal Star: LES to follow national trend increasing fixed portion of bills, by Nicholas Bergin. The fixed rate charge for residential customers will increase from $11.15 to $13.40 in 2016.
Columbus Telegram: Loup board members cautiously optimistic about wind energy, by Christina Lieffring
Omaha World-Herald: Report: Coal demand stalls for 1st time since ’90’s, Associated Press