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Columbia residents’ utility bills increasing in June

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Utility bills for Columbia Water and Light customers will see an increase in their utility bills starting June 1 through the end of September as the city switches to summer rates.

Columbia water and light spokesman Matt Nestor says the increase in rates is for high-volume users in the summer and their are a number of factors that play a role in a utility bill increasing.

"It encourages conservation so the folks who are using more electricity are going to end up paying more." Nestor said, "the size of the residence, the number of people who live there, the times that they use the electricity."

The city bills electricity and water using a tiered system with higher rates for high-volume users in the summer. A household that uses up to 70% of its average winter water consumption will be charged the standard rate of $2.86 per ccf.

But households that use 71% to 170% of their winter water consumption will be charged $4.01 per cubic foot. Those exceeding 170% will pay $6.02 per cubic foot.

Between the months of October and May, all residential customers pay $2.86 per 100 cubic feet for Columbia residents water usage.

When it comes to electric rates, residents pay a standard $16.31 per month but the city adds on additional charges for high energy users.

  • First 300 kWh rate is $7.86 cents per kWh
  • Next 450 kWh is $10.25 cents per kWh
  • Next 1,250 kWh is $13.97 cents per kWh
  • All remaining kWh is $15.11 cents per kWh

The average City of Columbia resident burning 300 kilowatt hours will see their bill increase from $16.31 to $24.17 in June.

Columbia Water and Light spokesman Matt Nestor said the reason for the increase during the summer months is designed to encourage conservation.

Nestor says the money goes into the city's funds to make improvements.

"The grid, all of our projects, wiring, infrastructure, it goes into that fund," Nestor said.

Nestor suggests using ovens or dishwashers when it is cooler outside to avoid extra strain on air conditioners.

Nestor says, "try to maintain your unit, we recommend switching of the filters every three months, if the filter is dirty its just causing the air conditioner to work harder which is going to use more electricity."

Help is available for low-income residents having trouble paying their utility bills. Central Missouri Community Action assists families with energy costs in the summer months using its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, paying up to $1,200 for summer utilities.

Erika McGuire

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