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AMP budget workshop today; electric rates could rise

Submitted by on 1, April 19, 2010 – 5:00 amOne Comment

Alameda’s Public Utilities Board will hold a budget workshop at 4 p.m. today in the council chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue. At the meeting, the utility’s staff will present a draft version of the 2011 budget they hope to have approved in late June.

Part of the discussion will center around the utility’s need for more money, which is being driven in large part by the increased cost of the power it buys. The utility’s staff and board members have been discussing different scenarios for raising rates, and in March the board said it would be most amenable to slow, steady rate increases of about 3 percent a year through 2020 to cover anticipated cost increases of $14.8 million.

More than two-thirds of that estimated cost increase will come as a result of increased power costs, while 14 percent would come from increased labor costs and 10 percent from higher debt service costs.

Even with rate increases, Alameda Municipal Power’s rates are expected to remain about 30 percent lower than Pacific Gas & Electric’s for residential customers and 20 percent lower for commercial customers. Current single-family residential service costs range from 10 cents to 18 cents per kilowatt hour, depending on how much power a residential customer uses.

The utility’s budget for this year is $57 million.

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