LINCOLN – A nationwide study revealed Lincoln Electric System’s rates average 11th lowest overall among the 106 cities surveyed, said Emily Koenig, LES manager of Financial Planning, Analysis & Rates.
Koenig said the overall ranking is a two-position improvement over the 2014 survey ranking of 13th lowest. The residential ranking in the 2015 survey improved by three positions from last year’s survey, from 13th to 10th lowest, and the combined commercial and industrial ranking improved by three positions, from 16th to 13th lowest.
The annual survey compared electric bills for basic classes of service at various usage levels, based on rates in effect Jan. 1, 2015. It showed LES’ electric costs continue to average among the lowest for most classes of customers, Koenig said.
Rates were compared using average bills over a 12-month period to include both summer and winter rates. Nationally, LES’ residential rates ranked 10th lowest and, when combined, commercial and industrial rates ranked 13th lowest.
When ranked among regional utilities, LES’ residential rates are lowest, Koenig said. Also, the study showed LES’ annual rates for all customer classes ranked second lowest in the region. The Midwestern cities in the regional comparison were: Colorado Springs, Colorado; Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City, Kansas; Wichita, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Omaha, Nebraska.
LES residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month pay an average of $94.09, which is 31 percent less than the survey average of $137.21, Koenig said. LES industrial customers using 1,000 kilowatts and 400,000 kWh pay $29,901, which is 30 percent less than the survey average of $43,022.
“Throughout our history, we have provided our customer-owners a reliable supply of affordable electricity,” said LES Administrator & CEO Kevin Wailes. “At 99.99 percent, our service reliability is one of the highest in the industry and, as the rate surveys have shown, our rates consistently are among the nation’s lowest.”
Wailes said LES’ low rates can be attributed to several factors, including:
- Low operating costs at power plants that supply electricity.
- Ongoing efforts to improve operational efficiency across all LES business units.
- AA bond ratings that allow LES to borrow money at lower interest costs.
- Customer efforts to minimize energy use and costs, including participation in LES’ Sustainable Energy Program, which offers customers the opportunity to take advantage of incentive funds to help make their homes or businesses more energy efficient.
To read more about the survey and learn about LES programs and incentives, visit www.les.com.