Electricity customers of the Turlock Irrigation District could get through next year without a rate increase.
The district board this morning will consider a $466.5 million budget for 2010 that assumes no changes to power rates.
This reflects a drop in the price of natural gas, the main fuel for power plants, and other cost cutting, spokesman Steve Boyd said Monday.
The TID increased the rates in February, 13 percent for homes and 12 percent to 20 percent for commercial and industrial users.
Its irrigation customers will see their rates go up in 2010 because of a two-step increase approved in late 2008. This includes a $26-per-acre charge for the base allotment of water, up from $23.
The TID board today also will consider a 10-mile power transmission line from near Crows Landing Road at Grayson Road to Geer Road at Whitmore Avenue.
The Modesto Irrigation District board also will consider its 2010 budget today -- a $471.9 million plan -- but will put off the electricity rate issue until January, spokeswoman Kate Hora said.
The MID increased its power rates 7 percent this past January. The board then reduced the size of a June increase and canceled a September hike, on the grounds that wholesale power costs had dropped and customers needed help in the recession.
The MID will set its 2010 irrigation rates in spring.
Also today, its board will get an update on the federal relicensing of Don Pedro Reservoir. It and the TID are in the early stages of a process that could lead to changes in how much water is released to the Tuolumne River to benefit fish.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2385.