BAKER CITY - Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative announced that, beginning Oct. 1, electric rates will drop slightly. Effective with electric bills rendered on or after Oct. 2, all OTEC consumer rate classes will receive about a 1.2 percent rate reduction. The rate reduction is included in the Power Cost Adjustment portion of your OTEC bill.

Even though Bonneville Power Administration recently announced a 2.2 percent annual rate increase to OTEC and 134 other retail utilities, wholesale rates quoted to OTEC calculate a slight rate reduction for the next six months. Wholesale electric rates, however, may go back up in April unless a settlement is reached in a lawsuit over how federal hydropower benefits are currently divided between public agency utilities and investor-owned utilities. BPA reports that settlement would eliminate the need for a rate increase and reduce wholesale rates an additional 6.4 percent in 2004. Negotiations among the utilities continue.

OTEC's 1.2 percent retail rate decrease on a residential account consuming 1,000 kWh will net a $1.07 savings.

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