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Electric rates for the City of Marlow are increasing for the first time in 25 years.
Toward the beginning of November, the Marlow City Council approved increasing electric rates, which will go into effect during this billing cycle. Acting City Administrator Jason McPherson said the increase won’t be a large jump in price for residential and commercial customers, with the exception of heavy-use commercial customers.
“The rates were old,” McPherson said. “The last rate adjustment was 1988. Our commercial rates were for the more you used, the lower your rates. But really, the more you use, the more you tax the system. The more you use, the higher your electric bill.”
For residential customers, depending on usage, rates should increase between 1 to 3 percent. Low-use commercial customers will see an increase between 2 to 6 percent. And heavy-use commercial customers could see an increase up to 35 percent.
McPherson said the 35 percent increase for heavy-use commercial customers is the result of taking away the decreasing rates for increased use. Rate increases for the commercial customers goes into effect today.
“What made it the most difficult on the council and the Marlow Municipal Authority is it hadn’t been done in 25 years,” he said. “We tied it back to the Consumer Price Index. But that doesn’t meant rates will increase every time the Consumer Price Index does. If we can make the payment, we won’t raises it.”
The Marlow City Council and the Marlow Municipal Authority chose to enact the rate increases during this time of year because electric bills are traditionally lower. In the summer, people are using more electricity through their air conditioners; whereas, many heaters are tied to gas bills.
“There is never really a good time to do it,” McPherson said.