OPPD Board Will Vote on Rate Hike
Omaha, NE - The OPPD Board of Directors will vote on a rate increase next month. The average increase for residential customers will be $7.30 a month. OPPD announced the proposal on it's website earlier this week, citing an expected $60 million deficit next year.
OPPD President and CEO Gary Gates said, "We understand the difficulty that rate adjustments can have on all of our customers. Our mission is to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy."
OPPD says the increase is largely due to the costly job of getting the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant running again. The plant went off-line in spring 2011 for scheduled maintenance. When the Missouri River flooded, the plant flooded and has remained closed ever since. OPPD recently hired Exelon Generation to manage Fort Calhoun and says the cost of that contract and expenses to restart the plant play a "significant role" in the proposed increase. Other factors include capital investments and less revenue from selling electricity to other utilities.
Several customers opposed to the increase spoke at Thursday's board meeting. "I wish you wouldn't raise the rates," said one customer. "I wish you'd pursue efficiency because it's always created more wealth. Every community that has decarbonized and pursued efficiency has generated more wealth."
If the board approves the increase at it's December meeting, the rate increase will take effect in January.