Anaheim : City Raises Electricity Rates, Plans Second Hike

Residents will see a rate increase in their next electricity bill, and yet another in September.

As of Wednesday, the average household bill rose from $84.54 to $87.12 for a two-month billing period. The monthly bill for a small commercial customer went from $83.96 to $86.43, and average charges for a larger business went from $952.84 to $984.66 a month, financial services manager Michael Bell said.

The higher rate is needed to erase a $600,000 deficit in the city's account with Southern California Edison, Bell said. Anaheim gets most of its power from Edison and sells it to customers in the city.

While Anaheim's electric rates "are likely to be above Edison's for the next few months," city officials said they expect the rates to be lower than Edison's once the state Public Utilities Commission decides on Edison's pending applications for rate increases, Gordon Hoyt, Anaheim's public utilities general manager, wrote in a report to the City Council Tuesday.

In the meantime, because the city is a wholesale and not a retail customer, Anaheim is subject to Edison rate increases before Edison's retail customers, Bell said.

"Edison can increase the wholesale rate to us immediately," Bell said.

"Edison retail customers will eventually 'catch up' and experience an even larger increase than will Anaheim customers," Hoyt wrote.

In addition to this week's increase, Anaheim residents can expect a 5.5% increase beginning Sept. 4, Hoyt wrote. The September increase must be approved by the City Council.

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