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Power bills going up...again

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Expect your power bills to go up again.  GPA says rising fuel oil prices may mean the average residential power bill will increase by another $12.70 a month.  GPA General manager John Benavente says oil prices are now hovering at $50 to $60 a barrel, and so at the current power rates GPA will fall well short of their fuel recovery costs.

That means they need to adjust rates through what's now commonly known as the or levelized energy adjustment clause (LEAC). He said, "It looks like if we don't increase the LEAC we could end up with a $15 million under-recovery, so we decided to take that $15 million and cut it in half, just like we did the last time so that we could gradually work in the increases instead of one lump sum at a time."

By law, the LEAC can be adjusted every six months. As Benavente noted, back in February Instead of full recovery, GPA opted to go for half, raising the LEAC from 8.6 cents per kilowatt hour  to 10.5 cents. Now the proposed Increase will go from the current 10.5 cents to 11. 7 cents, or 6% of the total average bill. If it's any consolation, Benavente says that's still well short of the recent high of 20 cents a couple of years ago.  The new rates still require Public Utilities Commission approval before they kick in.

"So it'll be for the period August 1 to January 31 of next year," he stated.

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