By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — Residents here soon will be paying more for electricity.
Rates are scheduled to increase by 9.1 percent, or $6.45 per month for the average customer beginning Jan. 1, 2011, Municipal Services General Manager Melanie McCoy told City Council members at their regular meeting Monday. The last rate increase of 4 percent took place in October 2008.
WMS officials recommended the change after a review in conjunction with their consulting engineering company, Sawvel and Associates.
McCoy said the rates still should be lower than her department’s competitor, DTE Energy.
Rates currently are $6 cheaper than DTE Energy’s. The rate increase will make WMS rates a dollar more than DTE rates, but the company also announced a rate increase which will increase their monthly rates by $5, making WMS rates $4 below DTE rates.
“We would not be as cheap as we are now,” McCoy said, but we would still be $4 cheaper (than DTE).”
The rate increases are due to increases in fuel and power production costs, but also will cover the costs of compliance with federally mandated environmental improvements, McCoy said.
Future federally mandated improvements to the power plant include fabric filters to reduce emissions of pollutants into the air.
WMS also experienced several unplanned maintenance costs since the last rate increase, including higher-than-projected costs for work on boilers and turbines.
The department also has tried to save money in other ways, including buying power at times when prices are cheaper and installing cost-efficient updates, such as energy-efficient lighting in buildings and low-nitrogen oxide burners in their utility boilers, which reduce emissions of that gas.
(Contact Andrea Poteet at [email protected])