City council to consider raising electricity rates for Lauderdale County customers

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. – The Florence City Council is set to vote on increasing a large cost of living component Tuesday evening. A proposal is on the table to raise electricity rates by 3% for households across Lauderdale County.

The city council was faced with this issue a few months ago. A tie vote occurred when an electricity rate adjustment was requested. The council members who voted it down said they needed more information.

Richard Morrisey

“We’ve gone about as far as we can,” stated Florence Electricity Department Director Richard Morrisey. “If we go much further reliability and some of the services that we provide will begin to suffer and we can’t allow that.”

The Florence Electricity Department serves 50,000 customers across Lauderdale County. Morrisey said they were able to absorb their rising expenses as long as revenue continued to grow. However, over the last few years revenue has been flat. After a ten-year stretch, Morrisey said they are being forced to adjust what customers are charged.

“The average residential customer will see about a $5 per month increase in their utility bill. Some will see less; some will see more,” Morrisey explained.

It all depends on how much electricity you use coming through the power lines. Morrisey added out of 154 power companies who purchase electricity from TVA, the Florence Electricity Department is one of the last to adjust rates.

It’s now up to the Florence City Council to decide if the rate adjustment will move forward. If passed, it will go into effect on October 1.

The Florence City Council will assemble Tuesday afternoon at 5pm for their regularly scheduled meeting. The council will also be voting on a proposed operating budget for the electricity department.

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