Empire Electric hearing will address rate increase

The Empire Electric Board of Directors approved a rate increase effective January 1, 2008. The rate increase averages 8.9 percent.

Empire Electric purchases wholesale electricity from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. Tri-State notified Empire that average wholesale rates will be increased by 11.4% effective January 1, 2008.

The pass through of the purchased power costs will increase Empire’s retail revenues by about 7 percent over adjusted test year revenues. The additional general rate increase of 1.9 percent will result in a total average increase of about 8.9 percent. Empire’s last general rate increase was on January 1, 2006.

The primary force impacting the costs is the cumulative increase in demand for electricity. Tri-State member load is projected to be 9.3 percent higher in 2008, compared to 2007.

Electricity used in January will begin to appear on Empire’s bills received in February and March. The average residential consumer using 650 kilowatt hours per month will see a monthly increase of $5.59. This includes a basic charge increase from $16.00 to $16.50.

A detailed insert regarding the increase will be included in bills going out in December.

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