Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Utility rates going up

Posted By on Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Like it wasn't enough for gasoline prices at the pump to skyrocket, you can expect to see your utility bill shoot up by $7 a month, starting soon.

On Tuesday, Colorado Springs City Council approved increases to Colorado Springs Utilities' Electric Cost Adjustment (ECA) and the natural Gas Cost Adjustment (GCA).

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"The net result of the changes will increase the electric portion of the typical residential customer bill by $1.50 a month and natural gas by $5.69 a month if a home’s energy consumption were to stay the same," Utilities says on its website. "However, as temperatures warm in the coming months gas consumption will drop, resulting in lower overall utility bills."

ECA and GCA rates, Utilities says, are designed to compensate for changes in volatile fuel markets. Fuel for electricity and natural gas are pass-through costs for Colorado Springs Utilities. No profit is made.

The most recent change to the ECA was a decrease in January 2009. The GCA rate was lowered four times in 2010. As of February 28, Colorado Springs Utilities has fully refunded to customers the positive ECA balance. The balance for GCA is expected to be fully refunded to customers by March 31.

To pass along projected savings due to the acquisition of the Front Range Power Company, City Council approved a reduction in the Electric Capacity Charge (ECC). Additional savings will be realized in future years and will reduce future electric rate increases.

The electric changes will be effective March 15. The gas change will be effective April 1.

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