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Utilities Commercial Rates Increase in 2012

Have you noticed changes in your Utility bill this year? Recently, electric rates were increased and a new tiered-rate structure was approved by City Council to cover cost-of-service changes associated with our electric provider, Platte River Power Authority (PRPA).

In 2012, PRPA shifted purchase power costs from demand charges to energy charges. It also added a new seasonal component (June-August), with higher coincident peak and consumption charges.

Commercial Rate Impacts

With the shift in purchase-power charges, those commercial customers that consistently use large amounts of power over time have seen their costs increase because energy charges make up a larger portion of their overall electric costs.

Rates for small- and mid-sized commercial customers changed because Utilities created two separate rate classes in 2012. Prior to that, small- and mid-size commercial customers were combined into one rate class, with smaller commercial customers subsidizing the cost difference to provide energy to mid-size commercial customers. When the increases for the small- and mid-size commercial customers are combined, the overall increase is close to the system average increase of 8.3 percent.

Rates for commercial customers that use between 50 kW to 749 kW monthly increased 8.7 percent on average. Commercial customers with average demands of 750 kW and greater have seen their rates increase on average by 11 percent.

The most significant commercial rate increase affects about 500 mid-sized commercial customers, including sandwich shops, coffee shops, some retail, restaurants, churches, preschools and some smaller schools. These customers’ rates have increased on average 15.5 percent.

Approximately 3,500 small commercial customers, using less than 25 kW monthly, experienced the lowest overall rate increase, on average 3.9 percent.

Conservation Tips and Programs

To help commercial customers reduce energy to control costs, Utilities offers a variety of programs, services and educational workshops. Visit the Utilities’ website at fcgov.com/utilities/business/conserve for a list of scheduled events and online tips.