Wyandotte residents will be paying more for electricity come October.
City Council members voted Monday night to concur with the Wyandotte Municipal Services Commission in raising residential electric rates.
The increase is expected to cost the average resident about $4 more a month.
Melanie McCoy, general manager of , said the average monthly residential bill is $91, based on 600 kilowatt hours of usage. The price hike will take that bill to $95, she said, noting that the same customer would pay $96 if they had DTE Energy.
Ensuring that Wyandotte's prices are in line with DTE is a priority, officials said.
“Our service is far superior and our rates are lower,” Councilman Todd Browning said.
Mayor Joseph Peterson said the cost increase is necessary to help offset the costs associated with providing electricity.
"Nobody wants the rates to go up," he said. "There are no winners."
McCoy said officials are always looking for new ways of doing business to keep costs down.
“We do not expect rate increases to be the sole solution to the financial pressures facing our operations,” she wrote in a letter to city officials. “(The) Wyandotte Municipal Service Commission understands this is a difficult economic time for our customers. We will continue to identify areas to reduce our operating costs in order to minimize future rate increases.”
As part of the new electric rate schedule, most commercial and industrial customers will actually see a decrease in charges. Businesses have historically been charged more to help subsidize residential costs, but that is no longer a feasible option in the current economic climate, McCoy said.
“As with other utilities in Michigan, businesses have been paying higher rates to keep residential rates lower,” she wrote in a letter to city officials. “As the business environment has become more difficult, it is no longer possible to have businesses subsidize the residential customers.”
The last At that time, another increase was expected to come in April. However, that never happened and is now being put into place.