Energy rates on the rise for Vidalia’s 2,200 customers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 24, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Rates for Vidalia’s 2,200 customers are going up for the second time in seven months – up $12 for the first 1,000 kilowatt-hours for both residents and businesses.

&uot;It won’t change the way I&160;use electricity. I’m going to be cool one way or the other,&uot; said Vidalia resident Mary Mullins, who just paid a $207 power bill. &uot;I don’t worry about myself so much – I worry about some of these old folks that can’t afford to pay that bill.&uot;

Starting next month, residential customers using that amount of electricity will pay $98.06 a month, up from $86.06. Business customers, which now pay $98.58 for the first 1,000 kilowatt hours, will pay $110.58.

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&uot;That’s because the price we have to pay for power from the Louisiana Electric Power Association has increased,&uot; said Town Manager Kenneth Davis.

The price Vidalia pays for electricity from LEPA has risen 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour, according to Davis.

Prior to a rate increase that took effect in November, Vidalia’s residential customers paid $76.15 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, according to town figures.

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland has noted that Vidalia’s electric rates are lower than those of many similar-sized towns throughout Louisiana.

For example, Entergy Louisiana – which serves the Ferriday area and much of Tensas Parish – charges $87.20 a month for 1,000 kilowatt hours.

But Vidalia’s rates are higher than the $65.87 charged by Concordia Electric, whose area includes unincorporated Concordia and Catahoula parishes and the Town of Sicily Island.

In Vidalia, minimum rates for natural gas also rose by $4 per month per customer beginning in November due to rising natural gas costs.

Meanwhile, Vidalia utility workers have distributed cardboard energy conservation &uot;wheels&uot; with dozens of tips on conserving all types of energy, including electricity and gas, said Utility Supervisor Guy Thompson.