Public Power Costs Less: National study shows
In general, publicly owned power costs less based on national analysis by the American Public Power Association.
The APPA study shows that residential customers of investor-owned utilities paid average rates that were 14% higher than publicly-owned systems.
Currently IP&L residential rates are higher than the investor-owned Kansas City Power & Light.
Data came from 2,006 publicly owned electric utilities, 193 investor-owned utilities and 873 cooperatives from across the nation.
Independence Power & Lights are higher
Independence Power and Light is a municipally-owned utility and operates as a separate enterprise fund within city government.
The City Council approves rate increases and approves major contracts involving the utility.
The city's annual budget, for several years, has included a page showing IP&L rates in comparison to those of other area utilities.
The current IP&L rates are generally higher than those of the other utilities for residential, general and industrial.
Historically IP&L has had lower residential rates than the other utilities, but that currently is not the case.
A recent year-to-year rate increases were approved by the City Council in November 2008 based on a five-year rate study. Here's the ordinance that approved the rate increase and the required review by the city management analyst.
Read KC Star article about the 2008 rate approval.
IPL had a new five-year rate study completed in October 2013.
In 2015, the city agreed to the refinancing of bonds for the Omaha Public Power District's Nebraska City plant in which IPL had a long-term purchase agreement for coal-generated power. That bond refinancing saved the city approximately $4.9 million.
The City Charter created a Public Utilities Advisory Board with extensive set of responsibilities to provide general oversight for all utilities operating within the city.
It is a seven-member board appointed by the City Council.
IPL officials differed with many of the figures in the BPU report which was done by an independent firm.