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Council adopts new electrical rates

After receiving public feedback and engaging in much discussion at several meetings, the Penticton council voted Monday to adopt new electrical rates.

Currently, the average residential customer is paying a monthly bill of $101.73. With the rate increase, it will be roughly $5 more a month, effective Feb. 1, 2014.

"I am not happy about passing on cost increases to our consumers, but Fortis has increased the price of their power, and we buy our power from Fortis," said Mayor Garry Litke.

The council voted in early December to increase the electrical rates in the city by 4.03 per cent in 2014.

The decision was reached after a public input session, at which three options were looked at. The other two being an increase of 3.28 per cent or 4.78 per cent.

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.

Councillor Helena Konanz said she was disappointed with the outcome Monday night.

"It was the final vote, and if Councillor Wes Hopkin had continued to vote as he had in the past, it would have failed," she said. "We are supposed to vote according to what is right."

Hopkin said he wanted the lowest increase, but while he was still opposed to the vote, nothing could have been passed if he was opposed because Councillor Judy Sentes is away.




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