Under the proposed rate increase, the average residential customer would see their monthly bills go up about $12 by the year 2011. But it won’t happen all it once. It’ll either be spread out in two phases…or three.
SMUD’s Elisabeth Brinton says not only are revenues down…but so is their hydroelectric production.
“It’s the drought and the economy as a whole. Even with the rate increase, SMUD would still be very, very competitive and comparable.”
And Mindy Spatt with the consumer watchdog group the Utility Reform Network agrees.
“In fact SMUD’s rates are amongst the lowest in California.”
Spatt says that’s because SMUD is not-for-profit. She says that’s a lot different than utilities that answer to shareholders.
“They spend a huge amount of money on executive salaries, a lot of money on marketing. I don’t think SMUD is quite that wasteful with its customer’s money.”
The last public hearing on the rate hike plan is set for Thursday night at the SMUD headquarters in East Sacramento.