Local News

Unit 7 back online at Drake, rate reduction proposal planned

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs Utilities says it's prepared to propose a rate reduction now that Unit 7 at the fire-damaged plant is back online.

The may 5, 2014 fire disabled the plant. Unit 6 began generating electricity again in late June, but the utility still had to buy power to make up for the juice that wasn't being produced by unit 7.

A rate increase went into effect after the fire to pay for the make-up electricity that Colorado Springs Utilities had to buy. With unit 7 back online, utilities says it plans to propose a rate reduction at the September 9 city council meeting.

With this reduction, the typical residential electric bill is expected to decrease $4.02. This reduction, in addition to a $1.68 decrease in July, will bring the typical residential electric bill lower than before the fire, according to Colorado Springs Utilities.

If everything goes as planned, the rate reduction would take effect on September 12.

The mechanic who caused the fire lost his job. Utilities said he changed a filter he shouldn't have, which caused oil to spray on a hot pipe. The end result was a flash fire that quickly spread.

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