OMU votes unanimously to raise rates - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

OMU votes unanimously to raise rates

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) -

OMU isn't making the money it needs in the wholesale market with lower power prices. As a result, OMU customers will see a higher bill for electricity starting July 1st

OMU voted unanimously to raise rates for customers by 4.8%. While that might not seem like a lot to some people, local business owners beg to differ.

Initially, OMU was going to raise rates by 9.6% more a month for customers, but after meeting with city officials, the power company agreed to cut that in half to 4.8% while OMU, the city of Owensboro, and an independent consulting firm conduct a study to see how to save money.  Thursday, the 4.8% rate increase became official.

"Customers will see that go from 2.07 cents per kilowatt hour to 2.57 cents per kilowatt hour, which will take effect July 1st," said Sonya Dixon with OMU.

Kyle Rice's family owns a local tanning salon.  He says the salon's bill is a lot bigger than your average residential customer.

"It's about 3,000 average a month," Rice said.

Add a 4.8% increase to that and the salon will pay about an extra $150 dollars a month.

"It's going to be quite a bit more for us. We're going to have to roll with the punches," Rice told 14 News.

In addition to voting for the rate increase, the board also voted to raise OMU employee salaries by 2.5%.

"This is not a driver in what has increased the energy cost adjustment or the ECA. It has a nominal effect on that," Dixon told 14 News.

In other words, OMU says the more money you're paying on your bill isn't funding the employee raise.

OMU says it has to stay competitive to keep its employees.

"We feel that our employees have been instrumental in offsetting these costs in the long run for use. This increase is well below the standard cost of living increase," Dixon said. 

There hasn't been a timetable set yet for when the study will start.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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