LINCOLN – A nationwide study revealed Lincoln Electric System’s rates average 13th lowest overall among the 100 cities surveyed, said Emily Koenig, LES director of Finance & Rates.
Koenig said the overall ranking is down two positions from the 2015 study ranking of 11th lowest. While LES rates remain unchanged in 2016, fuel cost adjustments implemented by other utilities due to falling natural gas prices mainly account for the change in rank.
The annual national electric rate study compared electric bills for basic classes of service from both public power and investor-owned utilities, based on rates in effect Jan. 1, 2016. It showed LES’ electric rates continue to average among the lowest for most classes of customers, Koenig said.
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 $93.62, which is 29 percent less than the U.S average of $131.53, Koenig said. LES industrial customers using 1,000 kilowatts and 400,000 kWh pay $29,969, which is 22 percent less than the U.S. average of $38,537.
“LES strives to maintain a diverse generation portfolio, both by fuel type and geographic location, to keep costs among the nation’s lowest,” said LES Administrator & CEO Kevin Wailes. “The current nameplate generation portfolio is a balanced one-third natural gas, one-third coal and one-third renewables.”
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.
To read more about the study and learn about LES programs and incentives, visit LES.com.