Central Valley

Modesto Irrigation District spares customers, votes to cancel September rate hike

The Modesto Irrigation District board voted this morning to cancel a major electricity rate hike that had been set for Sept. 1.

The board voted 5-0 to rescind the increase, which would have averaged 16 percent if it went through. A typical home’s average monthly bill, now $130, would have hit $151.

Board members, in discussing the move this week and last, cited the reduced cost of wholesale power and a desire to help customers during tough economic times.

The board in November approved a three-phase rate increase for 2009. For residential customers, rates rose 7 percent in January and 2 percent in June, the latter reduced from a planned 6.5 percent.

The third phase in September was to be 5.4 percent, but it would have to be 16 percent to make up for the smaller June increase and achieve the annual income spelled out in the November vote, MID officials said.