Lincoln Electric System proposes rate increase in proposed 2024 budget
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln Electric System Administrative Board’s Budget & Rates Committee proposed a budget that would increase retail electric rates at their board meeting on Friday.
The board said a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see an increase of around $4 on their monthly bill, or 3.7%, if the rate increase is adopted. Other rate classes would see increases varying from 2.1% to 7.8% based on the cost to serve each customer class.
LES said the rate adjustment is due to their ongoing efforts in recruiting and retaining their critical workforce as well as increases in net power costs and debt services.
“It is a priority of LES to keep costs low for customers while delivering safe, reliable and affordable service,” Emily Koenig, LES vice president of Financial Services & chief financial officer, said. “The key drivers of next year’s proposed budget and rates are investments in our highly skilled workforce and electrical infrastructure.”
LES’ proposed 2024 budget of $362 million includes the operating budget of $283 million and the capital budget of $79 million. LES’ 2024 Sustainable Energy Program funding is planned at $2.5 million, $1 million more than 2023, providing financial incentives to encourage residential and business customers to make energy-efficiency improvements.
“Understanding that all LES customers are experiencing cost increases, LES took measures to cut $11.1 million from the original budget submittal, resulting in a lower rate increase for customers,” Koenig said.
A public meeting on the proposed LES 2024 budget and rates will be held Oct. 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the LES Operations Center, 9445 Rokeby Road. Customers can join virtually through a link, view materials and watch the meeting recap at LES.com/Budget.
Additionally, LES staff will meet with customers and customer groups in October to provide information and receive feedback on its proposed 2024 budget and rates.
Board action on the budget is planned for their Oct. 20 meeting. If approved, the proposed budget and rates will be considered by the Lincoln City Council at a public hearing in November. If approved then, rate changes will become effective Jan. 1, 2024.
Copyright 2023 KOLN. All rights reserved.