ELECTRIC RATE HIKE: South Whitley residents prepare for increase

SOUTH WHITLEY — Residents of South Whitley should brace themselves for yet another electrical price increase which has been on the town council agenda recently.Effective with March billing, consumers will notice an increase of .0022839 per kilowatt-hour in the electrical portion of their billing, which calculates to $1.42 per 500 kilowatts used.“We (council members) have a piece of old business we need to resolve regarding the last electrical increase that was described in Sept. 1 in an increase from Duke Energy (the town’s wholesale power supplier), council president Tony Starkey said in Tuesday evenings meeting. “This (increase) is something that was left behind by the last board and this is the true-up, plus these are figures Umbaugh came up with, everything is as it needs to be.”According to Duke Energy, the “true-up” program involves projections and adjustments. The company projects estimated electric costs for the upcoming year. At the end of the year, adjustments are made, which can translate to a charge or a credit.Umbaugh and Associates is the town’s certified public accountant firm which provides financial consultation services. The firm undertakes financial planning projects for several government units, which includes utility facilities.Meters are read monthly with an amount calculated based on the net energy recorded.“Either way, this needs to be done because it’s a cost that was passed on to us (newly-elected council members),” Starkey said. Town attorney Greg Hockemeyer will publish a legal notice prior to the March increase.