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Local

Batavia may look to increase electric rates

BATAVIA – Batavia electric users might see their electric bills go up next year in part because of increased power costs.

“Staff is in the process of preparing the 2014 Electric Utility budget and will likely be requesting additional revenues to account for increased purchase power costs and the depletion of our rate stabilization reserves,” Batavia Public Works Director Gary Holm said in a memo to aldermen.

Electric rates last increased by 10 percent in January 2012.

Holm told aldermen that even though the city’s total consumption is down, its overall cost for purchase power is up.

“For the period from 2010 to 2013, our purchase power costs have increased a total of $7 million, or about 30 percent,” he said.

In 2007, the Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency, of which Batavia is a member, agreed to a long-term power contract to purchase electricity from the Prairie State Energy Campus in downstate Illinois.

Other members include Geneva and Rochelle.

The city has looked at selling off some of its power because it doesn’t need as much as expected because of the economic slowdown.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in August 2012 issued a report criticizing the Prairie State Energy Campus with charging more for power than promised.

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