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Utility rates will increase

Lassen County Times of Susanville, California

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After looking at the quarterly financial review, the Lassen Municipal Utility Board of Directors approved a rate increase for half a cent per kilowatt-hour.

During the Tuesday, Oct. 27 board meeting, the Power Delivery Cost Analysis worksheet showed the district was under-collecting by 0.01207 per kilowatt-hour.

"There is clearly an indication a rate increase should occur," said general manager Bill Stewart.

The board voted unanimously to approve the rate increase, with director Jess Urionaguena saying he was voting reluctantly in favor of the increase.

The increase was scheduled to take effect Sunday, Nov. 1 and the change will be reflected in the upcoming December bills.

According to a press release from LMUD, the increase should raise revenue to the direct by about $650,000 per year. It also read the average LMUD customer who uses 1,000-kilowatt hours per month can expect to see the bill increase by about $5 monthly "Unless staff sees any way to reduce spending, we have to raise the rates," said director Fred Nagel.

There was some discussion from the board members about what they'd like to do.

Urionaguena said he would almost rather raise the facilities charge again than the kilowatt-per-hour charge.

"I would like to see us readdress the facilities charge and possibly try and make up some of this short fall there, rather than by sticking everybody in the kilowatt-hour charge," said Urionaguena

Assistant General Manager Doug Smith said a $5 increase in the facilities charge was about as equal to a half-a-cent increase per kilowatt-hour. Stewart said the per-kilowatt-hour rate could be changed, if needed.

The last rate increase per kilowatt-hour was approved in March of 2014.

Director Jay Dow mentioned the board and staff should possibly think outside of the box and investigate a different billing model.

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Original Publication Date: November 3, 2015

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