Water revenues to increase by 1.3%, electric by 1.8%

Utility rates will increase enough after Oct. 1 to increase Rolla Municipal Utilities revenues by 1.8 percent for the electric department and 1.3 percent for the water department.
On an approximately $2.4 million water budget and an approximately $26 million electric budget, that's a significant dollar amount and it is needed. So far this fiscal year, the electric department has lost $667,728.52, although the water department has made $340,152.38.
"We'll need an increase in sales," Board of Public Works Chairman Nick Barrack said at the board's Wednesday meeting after first hearing the monthly financial report and later in the meeting adopting the fiscal year 2014 rate changes.
General Manager Rodney Bourne said this summer, while there have been some hot days, has in general been milder than normal, so mild that air conditioners are not being used as much as expected.
"A lot of people are opening the windows, not using the AC," Bourne said. June revenues as presented at the July meeting Wednesday afternoon were down and "revenues will be down next month," he added.
The rate changes that will go into effect Oct. 1 are as follows:
• Residential electric: 8.9 cents per kilowatt hour. Electric rates haven't been raised since 2006; the board has modified the rate structure to eliminate tiered energy charges in the residential and commercial classes, so the 8.9 cents per kilowatt-hour is a flat rate. The service availability fee is $15 per meter per month.
• Commercial electric: 8.9 cents per kilowatt hour. This rate class, like the residential class, is for customers with an actual metered monthly demand of less than 100 kilowatts. The service availability fee for commercial customers is $15 per meter per month for single-phase service and $20 per meter per month for three-phase service.
• Power service electric: This class is for customers with an actual monthly demand of 100 kilowatts or more but less than 1,000 kilowatts. These customers will pay a monthly energy charge of 6.9 cents per kilowatt hour and a monthly demand charge of $9 per kilowatt for all kilowatt demand per month. The service availability fee will be $70 per meter per month.
• Industrial service electric: This classification is for those customers whose actual monthly demand is more than 1,000 kilowatts twice within any 12 consecutive calendar months. The energy charge is 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour. Demand charge is $9 per kilowatt per month. Service availability fee is $90 per meter.
• Area/street lighting: This is a new classification. For metered lighting, used primarily for area lighting, street lighting, parking lot lighting or illumination of outdoor athletic facilities, the energy charge will be 8.4 cents per kilowatt hour per month. Service availability fee will be $40 per meter per month. The charge for non-metered lighting is $7.60 per light for 100-watt high pressure sodium or LED equivalent light per month; $15 per light for 250-watt metal halide light per month and $23.20 for 400-watt metal halide light per month. There are installation fees for non-metered lights, too.
• Water service: For all residential and non-residential customers, except for privately owned fire hydrants and sprinkler systems, the rate was raised 20 cents per 1,000 gallons to $2.90 per thousand gallons. Service availability fees were changed from a flat $11 per meter per month to a graduated rate of $9 to $125 per meter per month, depending on the size.
• Fire sprinkler line fees, for those customers with fire protection systems, were also modified to a graduated rate.
The rate changes will be presented to Rolla City Council at the Aug. 19 council meeting for comment. The new rates will be used with Oct. 1 billings.
Documents pertaining to the proposed budget and rate changes are available for review at the RMU business office, 102 W. Ninth St., or online at www.rollamunicipalutilities.org.