OPPD proposes a 5.9 percent rate hike

Omaha, NE – OPPD is proposing a 5.9 percent rate hike in 2012 for residential customers.

Utility officials discussed the proposed rate hike at a meeting Thursday. If it's approved, residential customers will pay an additional $5.30 per month for electricity starting in January.

Gary Gates, OPPD's President and CEO, says the rate hike is needed in part to cover costs created by the extended shutdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station. The plant remains closed following this summer's Missouri River flooding. It's undergoing inspections by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is expected to be back on line in January.

Gates says new regulations and rules, such as those on cross-state air pollution, will also cost the utility more in 2012. For example, OPPD officials anticipate they'll spend an additional eight million dollars on ultra low-sulfur coal.

The OPPD board is set to vote on the rate hike December 15. Public comments are welcome, and can be made via mail, email, phone, or online at