San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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June 6th, 2008
Natural gas prices will increase electric bills

From the city of San Marcos

The Lower Colorado River Authority has notified the City of San Marcos to expect higher electric bills for local customers because of higher costs of natural gas used to generate power.

San Marcos residential customers can expect a $10 to $15 increase in their July electric bills due to the fuel costs that are passed through from LCRA to customers. Another increase in the fall is expected to raise electric bills by an additional $8 to $10. The increases are based on average residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.

“It is unfortunate that these big fuel cost increases are occurring during the hot summer months when electricity consumption for many families is at its highest during the year,” said Bob Higgs, Electric Utility Director. “We encourage our customers to conserve power in as many ways as possible to save on their electric bills.”

Ways to conserve electricity include:

  • Turn off all lights, appliances, and electronic equipment when they are not in use
  • When you are at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air.
  • When you are away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
  • Be conservative when using appliances, such as running the dishwasher only with full loads.
  • Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary. Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.

Natural gas prices have risen by 35 percent since last fall, according to the LCRA. The LCRA staff has recommended a $0.01 fuel charge increase in July and a half-cent increase in October.

LCRA supplies electricity to San Marcos and many other electric cooperatives and cities in Central Texas.

— MELISSA MILLECAM

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