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Lansing BWL proposes rate hikes

Joe Linstroth
The Lansing BWL is proposing electric and water rate increases over the next two years.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light is considering rate hikes for each of its four utilities over the next two years.

The BWL is proposing a 4.5% rate increase for its residential electric customers beginning Nov. 1, with another 4.5% in November 2023.

Residential water customers would pay just over 9% more over each of those two years.

Chief Financial Officer Heather Shawa says BWL forecasted a rate increase in 2020, but held off implementing it because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And so, forgoing rate increases for almost three years and with inflation, it’s important for us to make sure that we’re able to reinvest and replace our aging infrastructure,” Shawa said.

Shawa says with the current rate of inflation, a rate hike is needed to maintain the BWL’s level of reliability.

“Right now, we are over 10% less expensive on the residential electric side than our nearest competitor, and so the affordability factor is important as well,” she said.

The BWL will post an online presentation at its website later this week. The public may participate in a special rate hearing on September 20.

The BWL is expected to vote on the plan by the end of this month.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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