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AMP seeks to raise rates, gain passage of budget

Submitted by on 1, June 28, 2010 – 4:50 amNo Comment

Officials at Alameda Municipal Power are seeking to raise electricity rates for the first time in several years in order to meet rising power and transmission costs and help close an anticipated gap in next year’s budget.

If the city’s Public Utilities Board approves the rate increases at its meeting Monday night, they will go into effect July 1. The average customer would see a $1.53 a month increase in their bill plus a monthly customer charge, which would be $1.40 a month for residential customers.

The new rates will raise $1.8 million next year, and they’ll be the first rate hikes residential customers have seen since 2005. Commercial electric rates have not risen since 2003. Even with the rate hikes, the utility’s staffers said AMP’s average residential rates will be 27 percent lower than Pacific Gas & Electric’s.

The utility’s board is anticipating its power and transmission costs will double between now and 2020, and they are planning a series of small rate increases to absorb those costs.

The money will also be used in combination with reserves to balance the utility’s 2010-2011 budget, which is also on the Public Utility Board’s agenda for Monday night. The utility’s balance sheet shows power costs dropping by $5 million next year, but that number is offset by increased operations cost and an increased payment to the city.

In other AMP news, the utility:

*Is hosting a special, “drop-in” meeting to talk to residents about their concerns regarding gas-only “smart meters” recently installed by Pacific Gas & Electric. The meeting will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 30 at Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue. Participants with concerns are asked to bring a copy of their PG&E bill.

*Has earned a national Energy Innovator Award from the American Public Power Association for its pursuit of renewable landfill-gas-to-energy plants, which now generate 20 percent of the power Alamedans use. The award was given Tuesday at the association’s national conference in Orlando. The association serves more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities.

*The Public Utilities Board will honor Ann L. McCormick at the close of her decade of service on the board. “(D)uring her tenure, her leadership was instrumental in the development of renewable resource projects and clean power initiatives resulting in Alameda Municipal Power’s exemplary environmental record,” a resolution listing McCormick’s achievements says.

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