Marion residents may pay $30 more for electricity

Marion utility customers likely will be paying about $30 more per month for their electricity beginning in July as a result of information presented at Monday?s council meeting.

David Mayfield, city administrator, showed council members an electric rate analysis for 2010 regarding Westar Energy?s contract due to expire July 1.

Since customers differ in their electric use, Mayfield explained what the ?average? customer paid in August 2009 and how that bill would compare to this August based on the per kilowatt increase.

An average customer?s bill last August was about $212.20. Factoring in the proposed increases, the total bill would be $242.40.

Another part of the Westar contract would be its plan to tack on a 10 percent transmission fee increase each year. The transmission fee, he said, is used for maintenance of the lines. To deal with this increase, the proposed rate hike would equal $1.55 on each bill starting in 2011.

Although the per-kilowatt rate decreased from .018 to .0179, the demand rate increased from $6.10 to $16.36 per kilowatt.

Mayfield said the city currently pays only the demand it actually uses, but under the new terms, the city would pay a demand rate based on the highest demand rate in 2009.

What this will mean in terms of dollars to utility customers is an increase of $2 on the base rate and an increase from 9.3? to 10.88? per kilowatt hour starting in July.

For more about the utility increase, as well as the remainder of the council meeting, go to hillsborofreepress.com on Wednesday.

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