This is a departure from our typical technology post, but it's still a vital part of any energy efficient project. I'm talking about utility rates.
On average, utility rates typically rise 6-8 percent annually. At a time of record high fuel prices, historic environmental challenges, and industrial structural change, the nation's demand for reliable electric power continues to grow, and utility companies must keep up. Without increasing rates, the energy demand could impact the quality of service, impair the ability of the utility industry to meet growing demands, and undermine the financial health of the utility industry.
In other words, utility rates will always be rising based on a variety of factors. Most utility companies in Kansas City, including Kansas City Power & Light and Amereen Missouri for example, are using the increased rates to, in part, pay for energy programs and plants.
In Janaury of this year, Missouri state regulators approved a rate increase that will affect 600,000 customers. The parent company to KCP&L was granted a $64 million increase among the utility's three service areas.
About half of the customers in the KCP&L territory will see a 9.1 percent increase, while customers in the Great Plains territory will see a 5.2 percent increase. Businesses in the former St. Joseph Light & Power service area will see an average increase of 12.9 percent.
Since 2005, KCP&L's prices are up about 50 percent in Missouri and Kansas. The utility was also approved for a 6.7 percent increase for customers in Kansas. And the rates will continue to climb, especially for large facilities and warehouses.
Businesses should be inclined to reduce their energy use, especially if they are looking to cut costs. On average, lighting accounts for more than 10 percent of your utility bill. Lighting retrofits and utility rebates are the best way to lower your utility costs. We also offer other energy efficient solutions that can help lower your costs including insulation, window tinting, and zoo fans.