(Atlantic) Atlantic Municipal Utilities is proposing an electric and water rate increase. AMU CEO Steve Tjepkes says the proposal calls for a 7.5-percent increase in electrical rates and a 10-percent increase in water rates. Tjekpes says the increase figures out to be about a $6 to $7.00 monthly increase for a typical residential customer when you combine the two rates.
Tjepkes says the increase is caused by environmental compliance costs associated with coal-fired plants.
“In the last five years those costs have exceeded $5-million and the majority of the cost came from a scrubber and baghouse that was needed to meet more stringent emission standards,” stated Tjepkes. “ Plus, another $1-million in capital costs have been added to pay for regulations on the handling and disposal of coal ash residue along with significant additional on-going operating costs due to regulatory compliance.”
Tjepkes notes that the cost of generation at the coal plant is still less than half the cost of any other alternative source including; Wind Generation, Natural Gas Units, and Solar.
Tjepkes says the 10-percent water rate increase is the result of cash flow that has not been adequate to meet aging infrastructure and debt obligation requirements. He says infrastructure expenses added up to around $565,000 and debt principal payments over the next two years total $435,000.
The proposed rates would become effective with all customer billings dated February 1, 2013 and thereafter.
A public hearing dealing with the rate increases is scheduled for Monday, December 3, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. at the AMU Business Office.
November 26, 2012