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October 23, 2013

Electric rate increase possible for Duncan Power customers

DUNCAN — Yeager discusses rates

Duncan Power customers may see an electric rate increase beginning in November as a way to offset unbudgeted and unforeseen cost increases to the City of Duncan.

Duncan City Council members spent Tuesday’s regular meeting discussing possibly adopting a resolution that would increase electric rates for Duncan Power customers. Although the resolution was tabled during the meeting — giving council members two weeks to reach a decision — Duncan Power Director David Yeager said customers could expect to spend $3.36 more for every 1,000 kilowatt hours they use beginning in November. The resolution would take the fuel cost adjustment from $19.40 to $22.76 for every 1,000 kilowatt hours.

“We’re trying to do two things at once,” Yeager said. “We need to recover some costs that are not strictly energy related. Because it’s so complicated, tonight will be discussion. We had about 21⁄2 percent increase overall this year that was again unbudgeted.”

The City of Duncan is looking for a rate increase that will offset about $315,210. Yeager said that rate increase will not cover all of the 21⁄2 percent increase charged to the city. He said the city can no longer cover the 21⁄2 percent increase, and it will be up to the customers to levy that increase through November and December.

Yeager said OMPA is also looking at a rate increase, which would start in January. At that point, it could mean another rate increase for Duncan Power and its customers. He said OMPA is projecting an overall price increase of 3.95 percent on January kilowatt hours. He expects increase between 1.9 to 2 percent to be passed onto to consumers starting in January. This total would be based on the Consumer Price Index.

“We know it’s going to be hard for some people,” Yeager said. “That’s why were trying to taper into this thing. We’ll give them time to adjust. They can either adjust their usage or adjust their budget.”

Originally, the council was slated to vote on increasing the rate increase during Tuesday’s meeting, but City Manager Jim Frieda, City Financial Director Patty Clift and Yeager discussed the need to give council members enough time to review the information before making a decision.

“Because it’s so complicated, we’re taking it in steps,” Yeager said.

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