FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — High energy prices and the rising cost of infrastructure aren’t only affecting the major utilities. Others like Fairport Electric, a municipal electric company, whose customers usually see rates at a third of the cost of other providers are now seeing their highest rates in years. Most of the power distributed by Fairport Electric is derived from the New York Power Authority, which as a condition of using the Niagara River to produce hydropower, has to sell a portion of the electricity to municipal and investor-owned utilities at a preferred rate.
“83% or more of our power is coming from hydropower which is a lot less rate than what utilities are purchasing their raw power on,” said Bryan White, the Fairport Village Manager, and the General Manager of Electric Operations for Fairport Electric.
The other reason for the low cost is the fact the organization is a non-profit allowing them to sell below the market rate. But they’re not immune to the rising costs of doing business either.
“This year was a little bit different where we had some volatility in the transmission and congestion charges associated with routing power in the state and we saw some higher than average utility pricing in June, July, and August this year and which was you know my tenure here over the last 10 years it’s probably so the highest we’ve seen,” said White.
Normally the prices being seen this past summer only occur during the winter, when electricity use is at its highest in the village according to White. He went on to say it’s not just the rising costs of producing electricity that are affecting people’s bills today either
“I don’t think anyone disagrees with trying to move to more greener energy sources and production and so forth but I think the disagreement always is how do you get there and how quickly you get there and at what cost and I’m not going to debate the merits of either of those but they’re significant and that’s what people are seeing other bills right now,” said White.
Despite the rising costs, it is expected that customers of Fairport electric will still pay less for their electricity than those with other providers, but they should still be prepared for a higher bill than in previous years.