Richmond Power & Light residential customers will benefit from a dip in an electric rate this quarter.

The savings are estimated to be about five cents for customers consuming 1,000 kilowatt hours during a month.

RP&L’s board April 3 unanimously approved a decrease in the utility’s Energy Cost Adjustment rate. The ECA is in addition to customers’ base rates, which will remain the same, and reconciles the fluctuation of energy costs RP&L pays.

General Manager Tony Foster presented the board, which is comprised of Richmond Common Council members, an ECA of $0.013230 per kilowatt hour. That’s a reduction of 50 millionths of a dollar from the previous $0.013280 rate, beginning with April’s bills.

The ECA had been in the $0.005 range through 2021 before rising to the $0.013 range during this year’s first quarter.

This is the first quarter that Foster has presented his board with the ECA calculation, because it previously was considered by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. RP&L customers voted during last November’s general election that the utility could withdraw from the IURC.

RP&L’s residential rates that took effect July 1, 2022, are $0.10010 per kilowatt hour for the first 350, $0.09625 per kilowatt hour for the next 1,150 and $0.09271 for each kilowatt hour more than 1,500 used. Those rates are lower than the planned rates approved during a 2021 rate increase because the state legislature last year repealed the utility receipts tax.

Other business

The board awarded bids for two new vehicles.

RP&L will pay Cronin Automotive of Richmond $81,108 for a 2023 Class 3, extended cab, 4×4 truck with a utility body for the line department. The truck was budgeted at $85,000.

RP&L will pay Altec Industries of Indianapolis $175,501 for a Class 6 bucket truck to serve as the line department’s trouble truck. The price includes a $40,000 trade-in value for the current trouble truck. The purchase was budgeted at $260,000.

Altec, however, does not anticipate delivering the new truck until September 2025.

By a 7-0 vote, the board approved a resolution recommending Common Council approve a rate tariff amendment that caps the Indiana Municipal Power Agency’s Economic Development Rider at $1 million per year for each qualifying non-residential customer.

The IMPA program provides percentage discounts through five years for non-residential customers who establish new operations or expand operations, with the growth including at least a $1 million investment and resulting in 1 megawatt of load at the delivery point.

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A version of this article appeared in the April 12 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.