By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspaper
WYANDOTTE – Residents can soon expect higher energy bills after a council vote Monday.
The City Council during its regular meeting Monday passed a 4.5 percent rate increase for residential customers. The rate change, effective Oct. 1, represent a $4 monthly increase for the average house.
In a letter to the council, Wyandotte Municipal Services General Manager Melanie McCoy said the rates, which still fall below competitor DTE Energy, were deemed necessary after a Sawvel and Associates rate review and will better reflect the cost of providing power to each rate class.
“As with other utilities in Michigan, businesses have been paying higher rates to keep residential rates lower,” she said in the letter. “As the business environment has become more difficult, it is no longer possible to have businesses subsidize the residential customers.”
Large industrial rates are set to decline by $50,000 per month while small commercial rates will remain unchanged.
McCoy said the rate changes, which result in a 1.3 percent drop in revenue, will help cover current costs as well as provide funds for future capital improvements.
She said WMS is working to offset the drop with cost-saving measures, like switching some fuel to natural gas, to decrease the impact on consumers.
“Wyandotte Municipal Service Commission understands this is a difficult economic time for our customers,” McCoy said. “We will continue to identify areas to reduce our operating costs in order to minimize future rate increases.”