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OPPD board approves 2022 budget, rate increase

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 9:00 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - After a board meeting Thursday, the Omaha Public Power District announced a $1.8 billion Corporate Operating Plan for 2022.

OPPD says the COP includes an average 2.5% increase in retail rates across all customer classes as the utility works to improve and modernize its power distribution system.

OPPD’s release states that “effective Jan. 1, residential customers will see a rate increase of approximately 3.2%, when averaged throughout the year. The overall bill impact for the average residential customer, using approximately 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, equates to $35.60 more over the course of a year.”

Officials report that the increase for industrial customers is 3.2%, the increase for commercial customers is 0.9%, and 2.5% for lighting customers such as municipalities and sanitary improvement districts.

The budget approval comes just one month after the board recommended the rate increase.

“We must make investments in our system—for the health of our existing structures and equipment, to upgrade our technology and enhance our customers’ experience through improved communication and outage information, and to build infrastructure that supports our growing communities,” said OPPD President and CEO Javier Fernandez.

Officials say that rate increases will also partially fund new technology and expanded operations in customer care, transmission, and distribution. OPPD claims they will fund increased overhead line maintenance, including increased tree trimming, to help prevent power outages and ensure the resiliency of the electric system.

Thursday’s announcement comes nearly 24 hours after the Omaha-metro was slammed with powerful storms, leaving thousands without power on Wednesday.

“We are committed to doing this important work, while maintaining a strong focus on our mission of providing affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services for our customers,” said Fernandez.

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