LES proposes one-percent rate decrease
LINCOLN — The Lincoln Electric System Administrative Board’s Budget & Rates Committee recommended a small systemwide decrease to retail electric rates in the 2022 budget and rates proposal during LES’ Administrative Board meeting, Sept. 17. This would mark the 5th consecutive year without a rate increase, demonstrating LES’ commitment to delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service to area residents.
The rate decrease proposed for 2022 is about 1% systemwide, though most retail rate classes will see little to no change in their rate. Some residential customers may see minor changes to their monthly bills due to continued realignment of energy and facilities charges. Some large customers may see a decrease based on changes in LES cost to serve those customer classes.
The total proposed 2022 budget of $293.9 million allots $247.7 million for operating costs and the remaining $46.2 million for capital projects. This proposed budget is $12.2 million less in capital projects and $5.7 million less in operating costs than the 2021 budget.
Reductions in the 2022 budget compared to 2021 are primarily due to reductions in power costs and depreciation. In addition, the capital budget is lower following completion of the LES Operations Center.
“It is a priority of public power utilities to keep costs low for our customers,” said Emily Koenig, LES CFO and vice president of Financial Services. “We are confident this budget will position LES to deliver safe, affordable, and reliable power while remaining resilient to ongoing challenges such as those we have experienced over the past year, including the pandemic and Winter Storm Uri.”
The LES Administrative Board will take action on the 2022 budget and rates at its Oct. 15 meeting, after which it will be submitted to the Lincoln City Council for review. Customers can learn more about the proposed budget and rates at a virtual public meeting held Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. All interested LES customers are invited to attend by going to LES.com/budget.