Electric Rate Hike Proposal

Residents who get their electricity from Dothan Utilities may be receiving a heftier bill soon.

Because of changes the U.S. Congress is making, utility companies must increase their price to meet future emission requirements.

The Alabama Municipal Electric Authority is the supplier for Dothan and 10 other cities in South Alabama.

They provide the wholesale power needs for those 11 cities.

Their costs are being impacted by congressional mandates associated with clean air requirements.

President Of AMEA Fred Clark said, "These impact both nauts and sauts requirements as well as mercury. As a result, this investment in our coal fire resources, both in effect building a chemical plant out on the back end of coal fire plants, the increased cost must be passed along both to us as a wholesale provider, but also to Dothan and the other 10 cities."

Tuesday, at the city commission meeting, the AMEA presented some reasoning behind the rate increase.

Basically, Congress and utility companies are working hard to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Clark added, "It’s unfortunate to be here with this kind of message, no one likes rate increases. However, the mandates we have are for a better environment and to meet these requirements is an investment in effect. Reducing emissions cost money and those are congressional mandates."

As of now, the city is helping with the expense, but a 6.75% increase is taking a toll on the budget, so they cannot do it much longer.

District 3 City Commissioner Paul Lee said, "We will be passing that off to citizens of Dothan in the cheapest manner that we can.”

This topic is on the agenda for next week's meeting.

The exact rate and time of the increase is yet to be determined, but it could be as soon as November 1st.

For more information and ideas on how to save on your energy bill, log onto www.amea.com and click on "Energy Depot".

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