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Ashland May Increase Electric Rates

by Staff
KTVL News, September 19, 2011

ASHLAND, Ore. -- Keeping on your lights and keeping cool in Ashland may get more expensive.

On Tuesday night the Ashland City Council will vote on whether or not to increase electric rates by 4 percent.

The city is considering the rate increase because its electric provider, Bonneville Power Administration, is raising its rates by 9.5 percent. Ashland buys most of its power from Bonneville Power.

"You either pay it if you're the end consumer," Ashland Financial Director Lee Tuneberg said. "Or, if you're like us, you have to pass it on to our end customers, which would be the end consumer."

Most people in Ashland pay about $66 a month for electricity, Tuneberg said. If the increase is approved, he said the average bill will go up more than $2.

Tuneberg said despite the possible increases the best way to keep your electric bill low is to reduce the amount of energy you use.

This is the third utility rate increase the city may make this year. The cost of water went up 10 percent, and sewage costs increased by 6 percent.

Because of high utility costs Southern Oregon University student Matt North now lives in a tent in the woods.

Although he works two jobs and goes to school, the rising costs of living were still too much for him.

"You know you give up something," North said. "But you gain the freedom of being able to live wherever, and enjoy the outdoors and not pay those high costs."

The city council will vote on the increase Tuesday night.

If they vote against it, Tuneberg said they will have to budget around the extra costs.

Ashland May Increase Electric Rates <-- Watch news story at original site.
KTVL News, September 19, 2011

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