SELCO rate increase planned
Shrewsbury – It may be a little tougher for people to see the light when Shrewsbury residents begin paying more for electric service beginning next month.
Shrewsbury Electric, Light and Cable Operations (SELCO) users will see an increase of as much as 10 percent on all electric bills issued after Monday Sept. 1.
Residential customers using 500 kwh per month will see an increase in their bill from $56.20 to $61.75, or an additional $5.55 per month. Customers in other rate classes will see similar increases across the board.
Despite the increase, SELCO official s sai d Shrewsbury residents will still be paying an average of 28 percent less for electricity than people living in other neighboring towns.
The increase has been attributed to the skyrocketing cost of oil and natural gas as well as significant cost increases SELCO has incurred from owners of the transmission lines that move electric energy from the generation source to Shrewsbury.
Residents can expect to see additional increases in the bills in the future when lowcost power supply contracts signed by SELCO in 2002 expire in 2009.
The cost for electricity is expected to increase by an additional 20 percent over the coming year, and new power supply contracts are expected to cost significantly more.
SELCO has made eff orts to keep the rising cost of energy down by purchasing joint ownership interest in a wind turbine project in the Berkshires as a small hedge against future power supply cost increases.
Shrewsbury residents are growing more and more accustomed to paying more for town provided service. Water and sewer bills have also been increased this year.
Official s ar e encouraging residents to conserve electricity themselves by purchasing Energy Star lighting, electronics and appliances. Call Home Energy Loss Prevention Service (HELPS) at 1-888-333-7525 for a free home energy audit.
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