Richland — The head of Richland's power utility says the city doesn't plan to raise electric rates next year.
"Were happy to announce our intention to keep electric rates level in 2014," said Bob Hammond, Energy Services director, in a news release. "We understand that rate increases impact all customers. Our staff emphasis is on efficient operations in order to keep our costs as low as possible while providing reliable service to our customers.
The release says that a 4 percent revenue deficit is projected, but reserve funds and internal cost controls will be used to fill the gap.
Wholesale power rate increases will likely drive a retail rate increase in 2015, but "analysis indicates we should be able to cover those increased costs through 2014. That assumes normal weather patterns and no substantial operating cost increases," the news release said.