Neb. utility eyes 4.9 percent rate hike next year

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2009 3:31 PM

A year after raising electric rates an average 14.5 percent, the Omaha Public Power District is considering a residential rate increase of 4.9 percent more.

OPPD managers presented the proposal to the utility's board on Tuesday. The board is expected to take up the proposal at its Dec. 17 meeting.

If approved, the rates would go up on Jan. 1 _ the average residential bill rising about $4.05 a month.

OPPD says the ailing economy and cooler than normal weather cut demand for electricity in 2009, which in turn cut OPPD revenue.

Despite its budget cutbacks, OPPD says, it needs the rate increase revenue next year _ about $35 million.

OPPD serves about 754,000 people in southeast Nebraska, in all or part of 13 counties.