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Public Utilities Board Adopts Fiscal 2010 AMP Budget

Alameda, Calif., June 15, 2009 - At its regular meeting on June 15, the Public Utilities Board approved Alameda Municipal Power’s (AMP) Fiscal Year 2010 budget. 

All AMP customer groups will continue to see savings of almost 25% over rates in nearby communities.  

AMP is the first among all electric utilities in California in the amount of renewable power it provides to its customer-owners.  Virtually 90% of the power consumed in Alameda is carbon-free.
Board President Ann McCormick stated, “AMP continues to be fiscally stable; we’re maintaining lower rates; and we are doing our part by increasing contributions to the City.” 

The City General Fund will benefit from a direct transfer of $2.8 million by AMP.  An additional payment in lieu of taxes and as a return on investment of almost $1.3 million will be provided to the City.  Other direct cost allocations and fees paid to the City by AMP will total almost $1.1 million.  By the close of Fiscal Year 2010, AMP will have transferred almost $99 million to the City since its first transfer in 1914.

AMP is one of the largest businesses based in Alameda, with budgeted expenditures for the 2010 Fiscal Year of approximately $57 million.  “This budget demonstrates our success at streamlining the AMP organization.  Staffing is back at 1998 levels,” McCormick noted.
“Our power portfolio remains exceptionally strong, and we are well positioned to continue our commitment of providing environmentally responsible power at low rates,” she continued.

Power costs are the largest items in the AMP budget.  Almost $33 million, or about 57% of total expenditures, will be spent for power by the end of Fiscal Year 2010.  AMP buys power from the Northern California Power Agency, a group of 15 public power entities, that has developed hydroelectric, geothermal, and gas-fired combustion turbine plants.  AMP also buys power from the federal government’s Western Area Power Administration, including the Central Valley (hydroelectric) Project.  AMP also has contracts for the output of several wind farm and landfill-gas-to-energy facilities.

Utilities commonly use balancing accounts to stabilize rates to customers.  AMP expects to draw on its balancing account, created over 20 years ago, in Fiscal Year 2010 to offset an anticipated revenue deficit.  At the Budget Workshop held in May, the Board directed staff to continue to discuss underlying assumptions, risks, and policy decisions regarding long-term rates at future public meetings and workshops.

Alameda Municipal Power’s rates are among the lowest in the Bay Area and have not been changed significantly over the past 6 years.  Residential customers comprise approximately 88% of all AMP accounts, and the rates they pay are about 25% less than in surrounding communities. 

The AMP Fiscal Year 2010 begins on July 1, 2009, and runs through June 30, 2010.