LUS director Jeffery Stewart said the original proposal was to have the electric rate increase start November 2022.
He explained the proposal changed after he got feedback from the council and customers. “With fuel rates being high we said we can probably offset that. We can delay it by one year,” Stewart stated.
Stewart said LUS is seeing across the board increases in costs to operate and expand. “Labor increases, material increases, and we’ve bided a number of projects recently that have doubled what our budget was,” he said.
Not every one is happy about paying more. James Johnson is not an LUS customer, but he has an opinion about the rate increases. “That’s added onto what’s already going on with utilities and gas prices. Everything is going up,” Johnson stated.
Brenda Quirk lives in Carencro. Quirk cringed when she heard about the increased rates. “We got a lot of older ones who are suffering. They don’t have fans in the house. They’re trying to cut down on utilities,” Quirk stated.
There are LUS newcomers who have yet to pay a bill. They’re waiting to see how the increases pan out.
“I just got my first apartment. I don’t know anything about paying utilities or anything like that. I’m new to this whole thing,” an LUS customer explained.
“Looking at the last few years of our expenses, looking ahead to the next few years and with our major capital investments; we felt like this was a time for us to propose our rate increase. We can continue the same level of service and invest in our system,” Stewart added.