Dawson Public Power customers, including those in Lincoln County, will see an average 3-percent increase in their May electric bill.The new rates will go into effect with the usage in April, Dawson PPD announced Tuesday.
“Our goal is to make sure we provide safe, reliable and affordable power,” General Manager Gwen Kautz said. “We believe the scrutiny and changes we’ve put in place are sufficient to keep the impact to a minimum.”
Customers on the general service rate who use on average 1,000 kilowatt hours per billing period can expect to see their bills increase $3.80 during the summer and $3.50 in the winter, the annoucement said.
This estimate includes the distribution charge, which will increase $1 to $28 per month. The A-Rate is used for homes, farms, stock wells and general use electric customers who do not use electricity as their primary source of heating.
Customers on the A-SH General Service Electric Heat rate who use on average 2,000 kilowatt hours per billing period can expect to see their bills increase $6.60 during the summer and $3.20 in the winter.
This also includes the distribution charge, which will increase $1 to $30 per month. The A-SH Rate is used for customers who have 10 kilowatts or more of permanently installed electric heating such as baseboard heaters, an electric furnace or an electric heat pump, the announcement said.
“At the December board meeting, Dawson PPD board members reviewed the 2017 budget including our cash reserves and health insurance costs,” Kautz said.
Approximately $1.5 million was cut from the original2017 budget request. Distribution system improvement projects were evaluated and prioritized, and some were rescheduled to a later date.
“The directors felt that they could not ask customers for a rate increase without asking staff for cuts to the 2017 budget,” Kautz said.
The budget increased significantly because Dawson PPD’s health insurance premiums fro employees rose 16 percent in 2017, Kautz said.
As a not-for-profit utility, Dawson PPD uses bonds to finance large-scale improvements to the distribution system and ensure safe and reliable service. Dawson PPD previously used its cash reserves to pay for these expenses.
By increasing its cash reserves, the District will qualify for better bond rates in the future, Kautz said.
Rate information is available for review by visiting the Lexington, Kearney and North Platte offices, by calling 308-324-2386 or 800-752-8305, or visiting www.dawsonpower.com.
Additional information is available via Dawson PPD’s monthly customer newsletter, its website and social media.
The district’s 5,000 square-mile territory includes a third of Lincoln County, parts of Custer, Sherman and Frontier counties, all of the rural areas in Dawson and Buffalo counties, and approximately two-thirds of Gosper County.