TID approves power, water rate hikes

The Turlock Irrigation District board voted 5-0 this morning to raise rates for electricity and water users. TID's coverage area includes parts of North Merced County.

Power rates will rise 13 percent for residential customers and 12 to 20 percent for commercial and industrial users, starting Feb. 1.

The monthly bill for a typical home, using 850 kilowatt-hours, will rise about $12 to $115 under the winter rate schedule and $122 in summer.

The electricity increases are roughly similar to those approved for next year by the Modesto Irrigation District, which will impose them in three phases.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. increased its power rates 6 percent in October.

TID's irrigation increase includes raising the basic charge, now $20 per acre, to $23 in 2009 and $26 in 2010. This charge will cover the basic allotment of water, which is higher in wet years than in dry.

Water above this allotment will cost $15 for the first acre-foot and $20 per acre-foot thereafter. An acre-foot is enough water to cover an acre of farmland one foot deep.