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MATTHES SEEKS POWER BILL HIKES: Returns for increases that failed last year

But big business gets a break

COLUMBIA, Mo 8/25/18 (Beat Byte) -- Columbia city manager Mike Matthes is going after power bill increases City Council members denied him last year with a dizzying number of individual rate hikes. 

City ordinance B183-18 will hike over thirty individual power bill charges if Council members pass the measure next month.   The power bill increases promise to raise the cost of living and doing business, as they ripple into everything from energy to food and housing.   

Residential power bills will rise an average 2.5%, Matthes predicts.  Small businesses will pay nearly four percent more, but big business gets a break: a mere 0.5% power bill increase.  Industrial (factories, manufacturing, warehouses) will see the largest bump, 5.5%. 

"The increase is necessary to address operation and maintenance costs and to maintain cash reserve levels and adequate debt coverage," Matthes explains in a Council memo about the rate hikes. 

Cash reserve levels appear to be adequate, however. The city lost over one million dollars in the sale of land to Aurora Dairy earlier purchased with utility reserve funds.

Matthes' 2017 electric rate hike averaged a 2-8.5% increase for residents with the same 0.5% hike for big businessCouncil members rejected it after Matthes conceded, "The electric utility does have $31 million in reserves." 

Power bills have two components: a base "customer charge" and consumption-based usage fees. Both would rise under the Matthes hikes.  Here's the breakdown: 


Standard electric meter:   $15.91 to $16.31 per month (2.5%)
Non-standard electric meter:   $21.01 to $21.54 per month (2.5%)

RESIDENTIAL USAGE HIKES (for different usage levels, in per kWh)

7.67 cents to 7.86 cent (2.5%)
9.11 cents to 9.34 cents (2.5%)
9.61 cents to 9.85 cents  (2.5%)
10.00 cents to 10.25 cents (2.5%)
11.55 cents to 11.84 cents (2.5%)
13.63 cents to 13.97 cents (2.5%)
14.74 cents to 15.11 cents (2.5%)
Small single-phase service: $15.91 to $16.51 per month (3.77%) 
Small three-phase service:  $26.22 per month to $27.20 per month (3.74%) 

SMALL BUSINESS USAGE CHARGE HIKES (for different usage levels, in per kWh)

8.16 cents to 8.47 cents (3.79%)
9.04 cents to 9.36 cents (3.5%)
9.59 cents to 9.93 cents (3.5%)

10.4 cents to 10.79 cents (3.75%)
14.35 cents to 14.89 cents (3.76%)
10.4 cents to 10.79 cents (3.75%)



$45.90 per month to $46.13 per month (0.5%)
$367.20 per month to $369.04 per month (0.5%)
$275.40 per month to $276.78 per month (0.5%)

BIG BUSINESS USAGE HIKES (for different usage levels, in per kWh)

$15.91 to $15.99 (0.5%)
$12.75 to $12.81 (0.5%)
5.74 cents to 5.77 cents (0.5%)
5.0 cents to 5.03 cents (0.6%)


$153.00 to $161.45 per month (5.5%)
$15,835.50 to $16,705.93 per month (5.5%)
$12,622.50 to $13,316.74 per month (5.5%)
INDUSTRIAL CUSTOMER USAGE HIKES (for different usage levels, in per kW)

4.82 cents to 5.09 cents (5.6%)
4.12 cents to 4.35 cents (5.6%)
$21.11 to 22.27 (5.5%)
$16.83 to 17.76 (5.5%)


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