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OPALCO power rates to rise 6 percent
On Nov. 21, the Orcas Power & Light Cooperative Board of Directors approved a 6-percent hike in electricity rates to balance the local power co-op’s $31 million 2014 operating budget.
The board also green-lighted “capital credits” totaling $707,381 to be distributed to 4,192 co-op members enrolled in 1988.
In a press release announcing the budget, OPALCO said the rate increase is necessary to meet a nine percent rate increase by the Bonneville Power Administration and to fund “significant construction projects,” including replacing aging cables.
Work on communications infrastructure already being planned is in the budget, but no additional expenditures are planned in response to the board’s directive to “accelerate” broadband capacity and lift the current moratorium on new fiber connections.