April 2019 Board Press Release

posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 in Board Meeting News

Electric Rate Adjustments Approved, National Reliability Recognition

At the Tuesday meeting of the Board of Water, Electric and Communications Utility Trustees, the Board approved the Electric Utility rate adjustment recommendation of 2% effective
August 1, 2019 and a similar increase effective August 1, 2020. 

The Utility followed the recommendation from an Electric Utility Cost-of-Service and Rate Design Study completed by Dave Berg Consulting (DBC). “We’ve worked hard to reduce the rate adjustments down from the previous 4%,” said Gage Huston, General Manager.  In addition to normal operating and maintenance expenses, the new rates cover multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, like the community betterment Mississippi Dr. Corridor Improvement Project, and the upcoming construction of a third 161kV transmission tie line to the north of Muscatine to improve system reliability, without taking on debt in the Electric Utility.

The recommended adjustment will result in a $1.94 a month increase for the average residential customer in 2019.  The rate study validates MP&W’s electric rates continue to be below state and national averages.

Huston added, “We continue to be proactive and provide preventative maintenance to keep our generating units and electric system in good working order. We have and will continue to work diligently to keep costs in line and are pleased the Study confirmed our projection for modest adjustments. That helps keep our Residential customers’ bills low and allows our business customers to remain very competitive. It’s a testament to the hard work of our talented Utility staff to keep costs down, even with extraordinary projects in the works.”

The Board of Trustees commended MP&W’s recent national recognition from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for achieving exceptional electric reliability in 2018. APPA represents over 2,000 not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities like MP&W. 

graph with blue and green lines

APPA reported the average MP&W customer lost electric service for only 15 minutes, compared to the national average of 135 minutes (see full Release here).  

“We are proud to have received the recognition from APPA,” said Huston.  “It is a testament of our staff’s hard work to ensure the lights stay on for all our customers.”

Additionally, MP&W was recently featured in the APPA Public Power Magazine discussing ways the Utility has proactively reduced emissions.  MP&W was noted for its robust capture and reuse program for coal ash by-products from its generating units.  Further information can be found in the article.

In closing comments of Huston’s first General Manager’s Report to the Board, Huston advised Trustees how current flooding prompted a table-top exercise to determine MP&W’s preparation and response to a possible levee breach event.  The exercise, conducted April 9, kicked off with an overview of how the Utility plans and executes its response during an emergency. Groups representing every department of the Utility completed the exercise of planning their individual responses to various stages of a levee breach scenario. The 4-hour exercise was the largest emergency exercise conducted in over a decade.

In other action, the Board:  

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