A significant jump in village electric bills for the January billing cycle has some residents looking for answers.
The increases are due to the billing cycle being extended to 34 days, according to village manager Steve Dupee, who said February bills will even out the cost.
Also factoring into the higher January bills are increased transmission costs from the village’s electric supplier, American Municipal Power, due to a sudden influx of cold weather.
“The cold weather affected a lot, our transmission costs as well as upping the usage for individual households,” Dupee said. “Consumption is always higher in January in terms of blower time on your furnace or using space heaters.”
Dupee said hazardous weather also played a part in the extended billing cycle because village workers found it difficult to complete meter readings. That made the billing cycle longer.
“It takes time to get those readings and all of these factors kind of converged,” he said. “People should see their bills return to normal levels with the next cycle.”
Bills for the February billing cycle are due to be mailed out at the end of March.
A study of Wellington’s electric rates is planned for this spring to determine whether they’re high enough to avoid deficit spending from village funds.
According to village code, the study was to be commissioned by April of 2015 or when American Municipal Power began charging the village $86 per megawatt hour, which was exceeded late last year.
Rates for residential customers now average 11 cents per kilowatt hour with commercial ranging between nine and 19 cents.
Officials are considering adding a “small commercial” rate meant to better differentiate between smaller and larger businesses.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
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