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Residents urged to attend session on electricity


Published: Mon, March 20, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


The city's power cooperative wants to help residents conserve and better use electricity.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
HUBBARD -- City council members are encouraging residents and business owners to attend a council work session next week to discuss electricity costs and possible rate increases.
The council will discuss the results of an electricity costs study at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
No action will be taken, but council wants to discuss electric rates and hear concerns of residents and business owners.
At Monday's city council meeting, the council authorized the service director to contract with the electric cooperative American Municipal Power-Ohio Inc. for municipal power services. Specific utility rates were not discussed.
Larry Marquis, AMP-Ohio vice president of business and technical services, explained the reasons behind the escalating costs of electric power and that AMP-Ohio is working to control rates through a variety of projects and programs.
Marquis said AMP of Ohio wants to help residents conserve and better use electricity.
Factors
He said deregulation failures, natural disasters, fuel costs, changes in transmission rules and the design of the electricity market are some of the factors affecting electricity costs.
He said that in Maryland, electric customers are seeing rate increases as high as 74 percent because rates were capped at early 1990s levels under previous agreements. Now the caps are off and costs are skyrocketing to catch up to current pricing.
Loss of service from power stations on the Ohio River because of flooding and drought, and the effects of hurricanes and other disasters on transportation costs are resulting in cost increases to AMP of Ohio and its customers, he said.
Marquis said AMP of Ohio wants to work with the city on rate stabilization and conservation; meanwhile, AMP is working to control costs in the 111 municipalities in five states it serves by increasing and diversifying its power supply.
He said AMP is constructing a power plant in Meigs County, and increasing production from wind and landfill gas generation locations.
Marquis said the new power plant won't be in operation until 2012 and so AMP-Ohio is working with customers to conserve and better use energy.


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