Middletown's Mayor and Council have approved a change in part of the town's electric fee to cover the costs of a second electric feed to the town, to make the electric system more reliable.
Town Manager Morris Deputy recommended a change in the base rate of the PPCA portion of the electric bill so the PPCA rate calculation ends up being a half-cent per kilowatt hour (kwh). PPCA stands for "purchase power cost adjustment," and it's designed to handle fluctuations in the town's cost of buying electricity without having to change the base electric rate from month to month.
The mayor and council approved the change by a vote of 7-0 at the Aug. 5 council meeting.
The change will start with August bills, Deputy said.
The half-cent per kwh isn't necessarily an increase or a decrease. Some months in the past, the PPCA has been higher than a half-cent and some months it has been lower.
"The PPCA base rate is only a portion of the overall PPCA," said Deputy. "We adjusted the PPCA base rate so that a half-cent per kilowatt hour is all that's being charged to residents."
Of that half-cent, fourth-tenths of a cent will be used to continue to pay off costs associated with a second electric feed into the town to make electric service more reliable. Also, one-tenth of a cent will be used for maintenance on the electric system.
"When we're done paying for the installation of the second feed, the four-tenths of a cent will be dropped from the PPCA base rate," Deputy said.
The second feed or second source for electricity into the town has been something residents and businesses have been asking for, to make power outages less likely. If one feed is down, electricity can still be accessed from the second feed.