Letter to the Editor: Better Question Is Why Utilities Manager/Board Didn’t Recognize Need For Higher Rates Years Ago

By EDWARD BIRNBAUM
Los Alamos

Gerald Antos (letter) has an interesting take on the recent electric rate increase, i.e., blaming Council for the increase.

Does he recognize that under the current Article V of the Charter that the Board of Public Utilities proposes electric rates to Council, and that Council can only approve or remand those rates back to the BPU for further consideration?

Had the proposed revisions to Article V passed, then Council actually might have the power to deal with utility rates.  As it is now, they have very little control over rates.

The better question he should have asked is why didn’t the DPU manager and BPU recognize years ago that the electric utility was not taking in enough dollars to finance needed infrastructure improvements to ensure that Los Alamos County residents have a reliable source of electric power? 

Had this problem been recognized in a more timely manner, then rates would likely have increased in smaller increments, rather than having to implement a 20 percent or more rate increase in one year.

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