COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs Utilities is considering a rate hike following the Drake fire. The question now is why isn't Colorado Springs Utilities using insurance money to foot the bill for the replacement energy?
Colorado Springs Utilities said it has insurance coverage to get the Drake Power Plant back up and running again. However, the insurance does not cover replacement energy costs and that's where customer's dollars come into play.
While firefighters have snuffed out the Drake fire, the heat is still on and this time it's from customers.
"I live on a pretty tight budget. I share a house with three other guys and that's going to be a little bit of a burden for us," said Utilities customer Chris Bell.
Francisco Curiel agreed, saying, "I'm on a tight budget too. I have a 3-year-old daughter, so every penny counts".
Colorado Springs Utilities said the typical household monthly bill will go up by $5.34, or 7.4 percent. It is looking to increase electric rates because the replacement energy (natural gas and other purchased energy) will cost the company about $3 million more each month.
Many customers on Facebook asked why the power plant wasn't using insurance money to pay for the extra costs. Utilities said it has insurance, but it will only cover building repairs. Utilities spokesperson Dave Grossman said buying insurance to cover purchased power costs millions. He went on to add that customers would be paying extra for that insurance and it may never need to be used.
Utilities will ask for the rate hike at a city council meeting on May 27th. If the increase is approved, it will go into effect June 1st.