LINCOLN – The Lincoln Electric System Administrative Board approved Friday (10/17) the proposed 2015 budget that totals nearly $346 million. It is approximately 7 percent higher than the 2014 total budget, but will not require a rate increase in 2015 because of offsetting increases in wholesale power sales in the Southwest Power Pool market.
The total budget authorization consists of the $275.2 million operating budget and $70.6 million capital budget, which includes LES’ annual in lieu of tax payment and debt service payments.
LES also plans to use $2 million from the utility’s rate stabilization fund to offset some of the increased power costs related to an extended outage at one of LES’ lowest-cost power plants, Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyoming, said Laura Kapustka, LES vice president of Financial Services & chief financial officer.
Kapustka noted that LES requested customer input throughout the budget process, and held a public meeting Oct. 2. She said LES will continue to meet with customer groups as the budget process moves forward.
With the approval of the LES Administrative Board, the proposed budget will be considered by the Lincoln City Council at a public hearing Nov. 3. The City Council is scheduled to take action on the 2015 LES budget Nov. 17.
Additional information, including a 2015 budget presentation, is available on les.com.