Lansing BWL Approves Rate Hikes

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

In a unanimous decision, the Lansing Board of Water and Light approved three sets of rate hikes.

Starting March 1, power rates will go up 1.5 percent.

"In order to keep serving Board of Water and Light customers in a reliable way, in an environmentally friendly way, you need to increase rates every now and then," said J. Peter Lark, general manager for the BWL. "We think a 1.5 percent hike is justified."

In October of 2012 and October of 2013, those rates will go up an additional 3.75 percent each year. The larger hikes are to pay for a planned greener natural gas power plant in Reotown.

"From our old plant to our new plant we're going to see a carbon dioxide reduction of 50 percent," said Lark.

The BWL says that the average customer should expect to pay about $5 a month more once all three rate hikes are in place. The first one is only expected to bump rates around 72 cents more per month. Although even small hikes are too much for some customers.

"These rates are hard enough for me," said John Zigler, a BWL customer. "They need to keep them right where they're at."

"They come back every year asking for a rate increase," said Rick Perry, a BWL customer. "When is it going to stop?"

But Lark wants customers to keep perspective. He cites numbers that show that BWL has the 3rd lowest prices out of municipal utilities in the state.

"We're lower than Consumers, we're lower than the average utility," said Lark. "We're virtually the lowest power provider in the state of Michigan."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by goingdownwiththeship Location: post industrial U.S on Jan 27, 2011 at 01:27 PM
    Raising Rates and Prices without raising income and wages is their way of saying," We don't want the lower income class raising families". They will never admit to it cause they are cowards. This whole green economy is about earth worship and eugenics of which Hitler ! was a fan. BWL raising rates is a small part of it... but try and get the big picture of where they are heading with this.
  • by Julie Location: Lansing on Jan 26, 2011 at 08:28 AM
    BRAVO, LEE!!!! Wow...I can barely afford to keep up on my rent, food, auto insurance and utilities now. YES!! $5.00 can mean the difference between a meal, a week of transportation to work, via CATA, or no water/electricity/sewer?? I am appauled, disgusted, and ashamed to be a resident of Lansing, MI. I would like to thank the city council and the mayor; wonderful punch in the gut. Great job ripping our less fortunate residents to shreds! Thank you Board of Water and Light! We know your pay rates REALLY needed to be increased, especially now that Michigans economy is down the "drain". We, the unemployed and under employed wish you the very best...as you watch our water and electricity get shut off. Board of Water and Light...You are a rare commodity...I meant to say commode!
  • by Yvette Location: Lansing on Jan 26, 2011 at 05:51 AM
    My husband has worked same job for 4 years and due 2 " The Ecomomy" he hasn't had a raise ever . Yet Bwl feel oblagted 2 increase my bill Min. of $5 a month . Well i think its amazing how sevices feel the need 2 Raise the price for gas, food, electric, natural gas, water . Yet alot of people I know( the consumers) are unemployed or have had wage or hours cuts
  • by Lee on Jan 26, 2011 at 05:24 AM
    Well, as usual no one listens to the little guy, and once again we get a rate hike. So how many of you have had a raise within the past year or two? I didn't get one and won't be getting one. Like a lot of others I have seen prices and rates increase but not my income, and it's at a point where it's starting to pinch. For a lot of people it not just 5 bucks its eating, or fixing a meal for their families, but if your making really big bucks, who cares. This was the wrong thing to do now when so many people cannot even find a job. The really sad thing is we cannot change to another company. We are stuck with the Board of Water and Light. We have no choice, and obviously no say.
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