Albany WG&L facing $11.8 million shortfall

Updated Thursday, May 26 at 10:20 p.m.

Water, Gas and Light faces a nearly $12 million funding gap after the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia increased their fees for WG&L. To help offset these costs, WG&L is increasing rates by five percent beginning July 1.

The base rate for water will increase from $9.21 to $9.71 for the first 3,000 gallons. If you have a $150 electric bill, your bill will increase by $7.50.

WG&L officials say they want the public to know they are being sensitive of low-income customers they serve, but say do not want to be like other power companies who implement one large rate increase. They say they are increasing their rates five

"Our cost of buying electricity has gone up. Certainly gas, we all know how volatile the gas industry is and our water rates are some of the lowest in the country and we just felt this was the time to gently start raising rates," says Lorie Farkas with Water, Gas and Light.

WG&L is also looking at increasing the summer rate period from four months to six months. No action was taken on this at Thursday morning's meeting.

Farkas says she wants to remind customers of the water restrictions if you use outside water on any day for anything living: She says you need to do this after 4 p.m. or before 10 a.m.

She says if you pressure wash your car or windows to remember the even-odd system: Even addresses can do this Monday, Wednesday and Saturday only while odd addresses can on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday only.

Original Story

To help close a $11.8 million funding gap created by increased fees from the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and lower-than expected usage in nearly all of its departments, the Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission voted Thursday to approve rate and fee increases to balance its FY2012 budget.

The change will amount to a 5 percent increase for electric customers and 5 percent for water customers, Finance Director John Vansant, III, told the board.

For more information on this story, visit the Albany Herald .