The Richland City Council will consider a 6.5 percent rate increase for power customers when it meets Tuesday.
The city follows the lead of the the Benton and Franklin public utility districts, which have increased rates because the Bonneville Power Administration is increasing the wholesale cost to its member utilities Oct. 1.
The proposed rate increase will go to the council for a first reading Tuesday. If approved, it will come back for a second reading and final approval Oct. 3.
If approved, the new rates will take effect in January.
The city’s Energy Services department provides power to almost 24,000 residential, commercial, irrigation and industrial customers.
It annually collects about $50 million in fees paid by customers. Residential customers make up more than $23 million that.
According to the city, the average residental monthly electricity bill would increase to $105 per month for a 1,250-kWh customer. That still places Energy Services among the lower cost utilities in the region.
Richland customers receive a combined bill for power, water, sewer and garbage service.
The Benton PUD board approved an average rate increase of 1.9 percent this month to cover a 3.8 percent increase in the cost of the power it buys from BPA. The utility said the average residential bill will rise to $115.50 or by $2.10. The Benton increase will increase on Oct. 1.
Franklin PUD will boost its rates 4.1 percent this spring. The increase took effect on May 1 and raised residential bills by an average of $5.
The Richland City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, at city hall, 505 Swift Blvd. The council typically gathers to discuss the agenda and other business in a pre-meeting at 7 p.m. in the council manager’s conference room next door, at 975 George Washington Way.