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Some Hercules Residents May See 40% Electric Rate Hike; Garbage Rates May Also Increase

The Hercules City Council will discuss the issues soon.

A 10-year run of cheap electricity may soon come to an end for some Hercules residents.

The city's Promenade subdivision was built 10 years ago with a subsidized deal that kept electric rates 10 percent cheaper than PG&E, according to a report from Hercules City Manager Steve Duran.

That agreement ends at the end of this month.

"Since Hercules Municipal Utility (HMU) residential rates are approximately 30 percent higher than PG&E rates, HMU rates for Promenade residential customer rates will be going up approximately 40 percent," the report states.

The Hercules City Council is scheduled to discuss the item at its Jan. 8 meeting, and city staff will ask the council to consider implementing the increase in phases.

But Promenade residents aren't the only ones facing a utility rate hike.

Richmond Sanitary Service (RSS) recently applied to raise solid waste rates in Hercules by 11 percent, according to the report.

"The initial review was completed last week and staff will be meeting with RSS to discuss the findings," the report from Duran says. "Once any issues have been resolved, staff will be bringing forward a recommendation to City Council for consideration."

The city council would be required to hold a public hearing on the matter before raising rates.

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What do you think of electric and waste rates in Hercules? Tell us in the comments section below.

Susan D.Keeffe December 20, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Willie, Good question. Its pretty clear, at least to me, that the decisions he made continue to have devastating effects on our City. And now approximately 800 HMU customers will be burdened with bills no one else in Hercules, possibly in the state, have. Its no wonder so many in the Promenade area have gone solar!!! That was and is their only defense.
Selina Williams December 20, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I went solar even though I am an energy miser. Turns out it will be saving me more than I expected so it was totally worth while. I am currently paying 0 for electricity. Additionally, I convinced my appraiser that there was real value in this installation, enabling me to get a better re-fi. Even though the HMU Solar incentive is over, I recommend those with high bills (over $300! wow!) consider going solar.
Dwayne Hoover December 20, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Selina, Actually your bill would not have gone up. The increase only affects those that live in the Promenade Community. Your bill was already 30% higher than the PG&E customers. Good for you for getting solar. Had I known of the 40% price increase in my community just a few short months ago I would have also gotten solar. It would have been cost justifiable. Now that the price will increase it is still not price justifiable due to the fact that HMU no longer offers the rebate credits that they once did. Double jeprody.
Susan D.Keeffe December 20, 2012 at 10:11 PM
It's still worth doing via a lease for those who get into Tier 3 and above, even without the rebate. I also went solar and have had a big savings even adding in the lease. But Phil is right- they need to sell HMU! Why did the City hire long term consultants with no incentive to sell because once they do they are out of a job!

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