KENNEWICK -- Benton Public Utilities District customers will see their monthly bills increase beginning Jan. 1.
Benton PUD commissioners voted Tuesday morning to increase residential rates by 4.6 percent, which raises a $90 bill by $4.14 a month.
Commercial rates will increase between 7 and 8 percent, depending on the business.
The rate increase, the first since July 2003, follows five consecutive rate decreases.
A $15 million increase in net power costs was the key driver for the rate increase approved Tuesday.
Power costs represent nearly two-thirds of Benton PUD's annual costs.