CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The 10,500 customers of the Chambersburg Electric Department will see their rates go up by about 20 percent by the end of 2008, but the increase is likely to take place in two stages, limiting the "rate shock," according to Department Superintendent Richard Hamsher.
Staging the increases will lessen the impact over the course of the year, but electric bills averaged out over 12 months will be "in the neighborhood of 15 percent higher," Hamsher said Tuesday. The bottom line on the electric bill, for the residential customers who paid an average of $81 for the power they used this past July, will be closer to $100, he said.
Electric rates for borough customers had increased about 20 percent in the previous five years, Hamsher said.
While residential, commercial and industrial bills might increase 20 percent, Hamsher said he expects the cost of electricity purchased wholesale by the department to nearly double over what it paid under the terms of a five-year contract with Detroit Edison Energy Trading that expires at the end of this year. The department is negotiating a new contract with five generating companies still in the running.