The City of Alameda's Public Utilities Board voted 5-0 Monday night to approve a rate increase for electricity, according to a a press release from Alameda Municipal Power (AMP).
This is the fourth year of a five-year rate adjustment plan for all customers, AMP spokesperson Rebecca Irwin said in the release.
The average overall rate increase is 3.25 percent and goes into effect July 1, 2013.
"The actual percentage of the increase will vary depending on the customer’s rate class," Irwin said.
"A typical residential customer with an average monthly bill of $53.04 can expect to see an increase of approximately $2.64 in his monthly bill," she said. "Rates for commercial customers will vary from 0-5 percent based on electric use."
Irwin said the five-year rate adjustment plan was the result of a financial assessment in 2010 that showed that revenue increases were needed due to higher power transmission costs not controlled by AMP, replacement of a long-term power contract expiring in 2014 with a new contract that is significantly more expensive, and increased operating expenses.
This year’s rate increase is also the result of a cost-of-service analysis AMP conducted in 2012 to determine the costs of providing electricity and service to various customer classes, Irwin said.
The results of the analysis found that AMP’s residential and commercial rate classes require adjustments over the coming years to ensure that the costs of providing service are fairly distributed across customer rate classes, she said.
Irwin said AMP continues to offer residential rates that average nearly 22 percent lower than in neighboring cities like Oakland and San Leandro, and commercial rates that average nearly 10 percent lower.
AMP also offers a variety of programs and services for customers who are interested in controlling their energy costs or who are having trouble paying their utility bills, Irwin said.
For those interested in lowering their energy usage, AMP offers a number of energy efficiency programs and rebates to help customers save money and conserve energy. Customers can also request a free energy audit to learn how to manage their energy usage and reduce costs.
How do you feel about an average increase of 3.25 percent — about $2.64 a month for the typical residential customer? Tell us in the comments section below.