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Option chosen for electrical rate increase

The Penticton council has voted in favour of increasing the electrical rates in the city by 4.03 per cent in 2014.

The decision was reached after a public input session Monday, at which three options were looked at.

The option was originally presented at the Nov. 18 meeting along with the other two options of an increase of 3.28 per cent or 4.78 per cent.

"It's very unfortunate that the cost of electricity is increasing and putting further costs on the rate payer in Penticton, and we hope to mitigate that for customers," said Councillor Wes Hopkin.

The increase in rates is required to cover the cost increases from FortisBC and BC Hydro, to maintain the existing level of dividend from the electrical utility to fund capital and operating expenses and to keep the electrical reserve at an acceptable level.

The 4.03 per cent increase that was chosen means residential customers will be paying between $105 and $106 a month.

The first three readings to amend the fees and charges bylaw will be on Dec. 16, the adoption of the amending bylaw will be Jan. 6, with the new rates scheduled to take affect on Feb. 1.

"We've been going through this public process, because it's valuable to hear from the community and then move forward," said Hopkin.


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