The Lincoln Electric System (LES) Administrative Board’s Budget and Rates Committee recommended a systemwide decrease to retail electric rates in the 2022 budget and rates proposal during LES’ Administrative Board meeting Sept. 17. This would mark the fifth consecutive year without a rate increase for the Nebraska public power utility.
The rate decrease proposed for 2022 is about 1% systemwide, though most retail rate classes will see little to no change in their rate. Some residential customers may see minor changes to their monthly bills due to continued realignment of energy and facilities charges. Some large customers may see a decrease based on changes in LES cost to serve those customer classes.
The total proposed 2022 budget of $293.9 million allots $247.7 million for operating costs and the remaining $46.2 million for capital projects. This proposed budget is $12.2 million less in capital projects and $5.7 million less in operating costs than the 2021 budget.
Reductions in the 2022 budget compared to 2021 are primarily due to reductions in power costs and depreciation. In addition, the capital budget is lower following completion of the LES Operations Center.
The LES Administrative Board will take action on the 2022 budget and rates at its Oct. 15 meeting, after which it will be submitted to the Lincoln City Council for review.