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June 28, 2010

PUB Adopts 2011 Budget, Adjusts Rates

The City of Alameda Public Utilities Board approved Alameda Municipal Power’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget which includes a 3.7% overall rate adjustment effective July 1.  The Board’s actions are the culmination of a 6-month effort, which included an Annual Planning Workshop, development of a 10-year financial plan, Annual Budget Workshop, and several rate analyses.

AMP has not raised residential electric rates in the past 5 years, and rates for the average residential customer have actually decreased since the year 2000.  A typical household using 400 kilowatt-hours per month will see an increase of about $1.51 in their monthly bill in the coming year.  Even with the increase, AMP customers will continue to pay substantially lower electric rates. Residential rates will be approximately 27% below, and commercial rates will be 14% to 18% below surrounding communities.

The financial assessment showed that a revenue increase is needed due to higher power and transmission costs not controlled by AMP.  In the near term, AMP must replace an existing inexpensive power contract, with a new contract that is expected to double or triple in cost, depending upon whether the replacement power is “brown” or renewable.   Transmission costs throughout the State also are expected to double due to the cost of replacing and constructing facilities.  Approximately 70% of AMP’s forecasted cost increases over the next 10 years are attributable to uncontrollable power and transmission costs.  These two factors could have resulted in double-digit spikes; however, the Board has favored a plan that results in lower rate increases spread over several years.

As a local community utility, a portion of AMP’s annual revenues contribute to the community to fund City services. Over $4 million is transferred to the City’s general Fund. The utility is continuing to take all feasible steps to control costs and has reduced employee count to pre-1993 levels.

AMP is one of Alameda’s largest businesses, serves the community with a reliability record within the top quartile of all U.S. utilities, and is the leading renewable utility in all of California. Over 60% of Alameda’s power portfolio consists of renewable resources as defined by the State and is 80% carbon-free.

Additionally, AMP provides low-income assistance and services to assist customers in managing and controlling their energy costs.  AMP encourages customers to take advantage of the wide array of the utility’s energy-management programs and services.

All Board materials are available on the AMP web site. AMP’s 2011 Fiscal begins on July 1 and runs through June 30, 2011.