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City of Fulton Looking To Raise Electricity Rates

Downtown Fulton
KBIA

Fulton is looking to raise electrical rates for the first time since 2008.

Bill Johnson, Fulton’s Director of Administration, said the change is needed in order to deal with rising costs of electricity.

“Over the past 5 years the city’s cost of buying wholesale electricity that we sell to the residential, commercial, and industrial customers has risen by 40 percent," Johnson said. "We have not passed any of those costs on to the consumers as of yet."

Johnson said that a similar increase in electrical rates was approved in the city budget a few years ago, but the city was able to deem it unnecessary.

The rate increase isn’t expected to surpass 8 percent for residential consumers. Industrial consumer rates may see an increase between 5 and 6 percent and large power rates may rise between 5 and 8 percent.

Johnson said the city has been very effective in cutting operational costs but there are no cuts that can be made to free up money for continued electrical service.

“In order for the city to continue to make improvements to its electrical distribution system and to be able to continue safe, reliable power to the consumer, we’re going to need to raise rates to generate additional revenue,” he said.

The city is willing to consider alternative forms of energy and Johnson met with a wind farm transmission provider, but said the option will need to be looked at more closely.

The rate increases are included in the 2016 budget and the city council will decide on whether to apply the rates in the January bill.