Laclede Electric Cooperative is raising rates

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LEBANON, Mo The Laclede Electric Cooperative is raising their rates due to increased usage, which raises the rates from their power supplier.

"Last year we set higher demand values, when you plug that into the rate structure, it actually increased our wholesale power cost this year of nearly one million dollars." said Byron Dudley, communications manager with Laclede Electric.

Members are currently paying 8.1 cents per kilowatt used, but after the increase they will pay 8.2 cents per kilowatt hour.
Also, there is a three dollar increase to the service availability charge.

"The service availability charge is a fixed charge that goes in to all of the equipment that we use everyday to supply electricity. And that is required equipment. Poles, transformers, wires, all of those things regardless of whether you flip a switch on at your house or not, those costs we still have everyday of the year." said Dudley.

This is Laclede Electric Cooperatives third rate increase in three years. The previous two came from an increase in rates from their power supplier.
But they try to reduce those increases as much as possible before passing it on to members.

"The very first thing that we did as a staff before we even discussed it with the board is come back and have a meeting as a management team and go what areas can we cut? And is there anyway to offset that?" said Dudley.

But after they made cuts, there was still a gap that needed to be filled.

"Without taking services away we still found it necessary to take it to the board with a recommendation for a rate increase." said Dudley.

Management say that many electric companies are having to raise rates.

"We have talked to some utilities around the area and the majority I would say we have spoken to are having minimal increases as well for very similar reasons." said Dudley.

The increase begins on April 20th.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.