The Globe Gazette published a story last month about electric and gas rates increasing in 2019 and 2020 that likely caused concern among customers. As the General Manager of Osage Municipal Utilities, I would like to calm consumers’ fears of rising prices.
The Osage Municipal Utilities has been a leader in implementing energy conservation programs. In recent years, we have added wind and solar energy to our portfolio because of the growing market demand for green energy. Not only has the city of Osage seen environmental benefits from these renewable energy additions, rates have not increased either. With an ever-changing rural economy and families wanting to save money whenever possible, we know it is important to be mindful of energy rates. We are proud that even with these massive projects to become a clean energy city, our customers don’t have to worry about rising energy prices.
Osage Municipal Utilities currently owns and operates a 1.5 MW GE wind turbine and 768kW community solar photovoltaic array. Even with these additions to our energy portfolio, our customers have not seen the rate increases mentioned in this article. Since Osage Municipal Utilities is under local control, we are held fully accountable to our customers. We have a mission of utilizing local power resources to keep rates low.
We have taken further steps to ensure our customers continue to receive their utilities at a low rate. Osage Municipal Utilities was one of the first members of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities to enroll in their MunEE Bucks Prescriptive Energy Efficiency Incentive Program. This rebate program offers higher rebates than those being offered by investor owned utilities. Since we value our customers, we offer this program without charging our customers a rebate fee. This is yet another proof point of our utilities continuing to protect the environment and our customers’ wallets.
Our staff will always encourage you to contact our office with any concerns regarding unfound rumors of rising rates. Under local control, we will continue to service you with renewable, energy-efficient methods that also fit within your budgets.