Utility Rate Hike

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Colorado Springs Utilities customers need to prepare themselves for a jump in electric rates. It's a scheduled hike that is now going to happen sooner than originally expected.

Springs City Council members approved a proposal back in January of this year to increase electric rates in August. But, now, CSU says that's not soon enough.

City Council held a meeting on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

Council member Jerry Heimlicher wasn't at today's meeting, which would have left the issue with a four to four failing vote. So, the council decided to wait until all nine members could be present to put the increase to a final vote.

If the measure passes utility rates will go up in June. If not, it will go back to the original deadline, August.

CSU officials say it will cost the average house $3.20 or about 2 % of thier total bill.

They say the $4 million that would be raised in June and July because of the increase, would go to debt payments and small capitol projects. The add, without it, there's a risk. Dick Comerford with CSU says, "it could substantially increase the probability that in the future that our bond rating could be lowered. in the long term could cost the city a lot more than few dollars asking for at this time."

Colorado Springs residents aren't thrilled about the jump. Many are questioning why it's not the new home buyers who are paying more for hooking up additional utility infrastructure.

City Council is now set to discuss the issue again a week from Monday and they're scheduled to vote on pushing up the date of the rate increase two weeks from today.