A recent rate decrease and an increasing power cost adjustment will effectively be a "wash" for City of Siloam Springs utility customers.

On Tuesday, June 21 the Siloam Springs Board of Directors approved the third reading of an ordinance that reduces electric rates three percent per kilowatt hour. This equals a cost savings of $2.54 for residential customers using 1000 kilowatts of electricity.

Soon after the rate decrease was proposed, the city's power supplier announced a $2.80 power cost adjustment increase per 1000 kilowatts of electricity. Therefore, residents using 1000 kilowatts of electricity will be charged approximately 24 cents more per 1000 kilowatts of electricity beginning July 1.

The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) supplies the city with power and announced this spring that they were reducing the power rate. A separate announcement was made about the power cost adjustment in early June. Power cost adjustments are issued every six months, and any changes are passed directly to utility customers.

Electric Department Director Art Farine said the corresponding adjustments for the city's electric customers keep rates current and fair.

"With the tough economic times, we are very conscious of passing along savings when we can. Unfortunately in this case, the rate savings was countered with a cost adjustment of nearly the same amount," Farine said.

The ordinance also updates reconnect procedures and fees. If a customer's electricity is disconnected due to non-payment, the reconnect fee is $25 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A charge of $50 will be assessed for reconnections after 5 p.m. on weekdays and anytime on the weekend. Reconnects are no longer available after 10 p.m.

Stacy Vaughn, 6/27/11

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