LaGrange to increase cost of electricity

Published 9:15 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

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The City of LaGrange took the initial steps to finalize its FY 2025 budget.

The $164 million budget includes $15 million in increased spending over FY24 primarily due to inflation and fixed electrical costs due to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 coming online. The city is once again expected to not need to collect but a utility rate increase is planned.

While Vogtle will bring reduced electric rates, fixed costs of electric generation have increased, leaving a $4.7 million shortfall. The city intends to make up the difference with a small increase in electric rates.

City Manager Patrick Bowie said that the average electric customer in LaGrange will see a 3.8 percent increase in their electric bill. The average residential electric service bill would increase from $123.60 to $126.27. For general service electric customers the average bill would jump from $233.08 to $256.33.

Electrical customers who have switched to an electric vehicle (EV) could be getting a break though.

KIA has requested that the city create an EV charger rebate program. A $250 rebate is proposed to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. 

According to Bowie, the city’s net margin on the estimated additional 5,000 kilowatt-hours per vehicle is $272, so the rebate would pay for itself within a year. 

Diverse Power currently offers $612 in rebates for the vehicle, charger and outlet, and Georgia Power offers $150.

Trash service rate increases are also included in the new budget to stem losses in sanitation. Proposed sanitation service rates within the new budget are $22.30 (68 gallons),  $25.65 (96 gallons), $40.14 (96 gallons premium), $28.99  (96 gallons commercial), $43.49 (96 gallons commercial premium) and $40.14 (nonprofit premium).

A first reading and public hearing were held to hear comments from the public on the proposed budget but no one spoke for or against the measure. The FY 2025 budget is expected to be finalized at the next LaGrange City Council meeting on June 25.