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Troy to see utility bill decreases

Along with summer fun typically comes something a little less fun — higher power bills.

But, after Alabama Power Co. announced a fuel rate decrease Tuesday, Troy residents may see some relief in those bills.

There’s no way to figure just how much yet, but Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said if fuel costs are to come cheaper to the city, those lower costs will be passed on.

“If fuel costs are going down, it should impact our charges,” Lunsford said. “Whatever the amount that is reduced, the fuel costs related to us will reduce by that amount.”

The Alabama Public Service Commission decided Tuesday to decrease the fuel costs by $2.72 per 1,000 kil-o-watt hours, reported the Associated Press.

The slightly more than 2-percent drop comes after Alabama Power’s cost for coal and natural gas have seen decreases, the AP said.

While both Alabama Power and the city of Troy saw big rate changes at the end of last year, this will not change the actual rates.

The rate increase came in September, when the Troy City Council voted to increase the rates by 14 percent, moving from 6.8 to 7.8 cents per kilowatt-hour.

These rates, Lunsford said, are locked in at least until 2010.

But, the power charges on utility bills vary from month to month, so Lunsford said decreases in wholesale fuel costs from the city’s supplier will bring at least some reduction to residents power bills.

While there is no way to figure how much residents will be saving exactly, what they’ve been paying is approximately $17 per 1,000 kwh of power. That’s based on an average from January to June.

Troy power bills are calculated from the electricity rate, a fuel charge and then a $7 base rate.