Front Royal electric bills to jump slightly

FRONT ROYAL – Residents can expect to see a slightly larger charge for electricity upon arrival of the next round of utility bills.

Town Finance Director B.J. Wilson said a power cost adjustment hike in the April bills would increase electric rates from .01091 cents per kilowatt hour to .01526 cents per kilowatt hour.

He said the .00435 cents per hour hike would cause a monthly increase of about $4.35 for residents who use 1,000-kilowatt hours.

Town Manager Joe Waltz said the town planned to institute these power cost adjustments July 1, but the process had to be expedited after an about a three-week period over winter with freezing temperatures.

Waltz explained that because the majority of winter was “mild,” the town did not sell a lot of electricity during those unusually warm days. During the cold spurt, however, he said residents cranked up the heat, and the town had to “purchase more power.” When temperatures are so low, he explained that power prices “skyrocket” because of the “demand of that moment.”

Due to those inflated power costs, Wilson said the town had to increase the power adjustment on electric utility bills “to help cover the initial purchase power expense incurred by the town for congestion charges over the winter months.”

Waltz said he is not sure how much money the town has to make to cover the amount lost during the cold stretch. Once it is made up, however, the bills will remain at the increased rate.