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LES rates still rank among lowest in the nation

LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System’s 2019 rates ranked 11th lowest among 100 cities surveyed in a nationwide study, said Emily Koenig, LES director of Finance & Rates.

The overall ranking is down three positions from the 2018 study ranking of 8th lowest.

While LES rates remain unchanged in 2019, changes in federal tax policy that moved savings onto the customers of investor-owned utilities played a large role in the drop, Koenig said.

“As a public power utility, we strive to keep electric costs low for the community. To benchmark our rate competitiveness, we examine rates every year with a National Electric Rate Study,” Koenig said. “This study helps monitor LES’ rate affordability in our efforts to deliver safe, reliable electricity at low costs for our citizens and businesses.”

Between LES’ 2018 and 2019 rate studies — which evaluated 100 utilities (76 investor-owned, 24 municipal/public power) in cities with populations greater than 100,000, including at least one city from each state in the U.S. — Lincoln’s electric provider fell three spots from eighth to 11th for the overall lowest average electric rates. Within the rankings, LES slid one spot in its position for residential rates from sixth to seventh, while climbing two ranks from 15th to 13th lowest in commercial and industrial. It ranked in the top ten in six of 12 categories.

LES residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month pay an average of $96.63 on their monthly bill, which is 30% less than the study average of $138.56, Koenig said. 

LES industrial customers using 1,000 kW and 400,000 kWh pay $31,092 on their monthly bill, which is 25 percent less than the study average of $41,537.

“Since LES’ founding, our focus has consistently been to provide our customer-owners with reliable, affordable electricity.” said Kevin Wailes, LES chief executive officer. “Our 99.99% power availability reflects that focus, as do past and present rate surveys which consistently show our rates to be among the lowest in the nation. As a customer-owned, locally governed utility, staying accountable to our customers is part of what has kept our rates among the lowest in the country. That’s the strength of public power.” 

LES’ annual National Electric Rate Study compared electric bills for basic classes of service from 24 public power and 76 investor-owned utilities based on rates in effect on Jan. 1. LES adheres to the same categories utilized by the Edison Electric Institute’s National Rate Study of investor-owned utilities.

To learn more about LES’ study and its methodology, visit LES.com.