Council Expected To Vote On Electric Rate Hike Tonight

COUNTY News:

The Los Alamos County Council is scheduled to vote this evening on the new proposed increase in electric rates at its final Council meeting of the year.

The proposed rate increase is a result of a study that began in June of 2014 when the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) contracted with Leidos to perform a detailed cost and revenue analysis and determine what rate adjustments, if any, are necessary to provide adequate revenues to cover expenses and meet reserve and debt service requirements.

Additionally, DPU asked the consultant to review the existing customer classes and rates to ensure they are allocating costs equitably to each customer class, and make recommendations as to class breakdown and rates in accordance with industry standards and best practices.

The new rate structures moves the county toward cost based rates and includes the following:

  • A 6 percent increase was budgeted for July 1, 2014. Because the implementation of a revised rate structure is not occurring until January 2015, DPU recommends a 6 percent increase effective January 2015 and an additional 5 percent effective July 2015. Note that the increase per rate class is between 0.2 percent and 9 percent for January 2015 and between 0.2 percent and 7.5 percent for July 2015.
  • Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) charge to stabilize revenues and insulate against power cost volatility.

Also scheduled at tonight’s council meeting is a presentation to outgoing County Councilors Geoff Rodgers and Fran Berting and a recognition honoring Rob and Kathy Hipwood as Girls’ Cross
Country National “Coaches of the Year” and declaring Wednesday, Dec. 17 as “Rob and Kathy Hipwood Day”.

Council also may vote on whether to purchase four new transit buses at a total cost of $1,447,100 as well as look at an alignment alternative for the Canyon Rim Trail.

The public is invited to attend the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave.

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