Granby " Mountain Parks Electric to implement 2009 rate increase |

Granby " Mountain Parks Electric to implement 2009 rate increase

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

Electricity customers in Grand County , Colorado, can expect to pay more in 2009.

Due to rising wholesale power rates and increased equipment costs, Mountain Parks Electric consumers will face a 5 percent rate increase effective Jan. 1.

The average residential user of 750 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month could pay an additional $4.50 each billing cycle, according to the company.

Mountain Parks pondered the rate increase at its November 2008 board meeting upon seeing a 4.5 percent spike in the cost of wholesale power from Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, as well as experiencing rising costs of equipment such as transformers, copper wire and wood poles, according to a prepared statement.

“As a not-for-profit electricity provider, Mountain Parks Electric only raises rates as a last resort,” said Mountain Parks General Manager Joe Pandy.

“We are always looking out for our consumers’ best interest, focused on providing top-notch service, affordable rates and ways to help everyone afford the rising cost of energy.”

Rate increases were not the only budgetary measure, Pandy added.

The board also reduced operating costs such as meeting and travel budget reductions, energy-conservation lighting improvements and installation of an energy-efficient wood heating system for its new Granby warehouse and pole yard located on the old El Monte property.

Want a lower electric bill?

Reduce energy costs by implementing these Top Ten energy-saving tips. They’re easy to do and cost little.

1. If not using it, turn it off.

2. Caulk and weather strip around windows and doors.

3. Electronics, such as televisions and computers, use power even after they’re turned off. Consumers can save up to 5 percent of their total electric bill by plugging electronics into power strips to cut off power during non-use.

4. Sufficient water temperature for household use is 120 F. Turn down the water heater’s thermostat if water temperature exceeds 120 degrees.

5. If gone from home for four hours or longer, it pays to turn down the heat. This can be accomplished manually or with a programmable thermostat. (Programmables are much less effective for those with infloor-radiant heat.)

6. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. This can mean energy savings of about 70 percent.

7. Take advantage of off-peak hours. Doing laundry and running the dishwasher from 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., or from noon to 4:30 p.m. helps reduce MPLE’s operating costs. This can help keep electric rates down and return profit to members.

8. When not using the fireplace flume, close it.

9. Wall timers, available at hardware stores, make it possible to use power only when most needed. Examples are powering block heaters for cars two hours before the car will be started, or powering holiday lights only during evening hours.

10. Clean refrigerator coils periodically, change furnace filter monthly or bimonthly, and clean the dryer lint vent every time you dry clothes.

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