The Imperial Irrigation District board has taken the formal step that will lead to higher power bills starting in February but officials say the move will prevent major bill hikes during the summer.
By a unanimous vote Tuesday the directors approved a budget amendment that will increase the energy cost adjustment portion of power bills, a move IID officials say is necessary to meet the rising cost of producing energy.
The board has the authority to increase the energy cost adjustment based on costs of producing energy.
The problem is the price of natural gas, the fuel for IID's power plants, has seen violent fluctuations, and officials have been worried the cost could continue to rise. Officials say they have no choice but to pass any costs of producing energy on to customers.
IID officials have locked in the cost of natural gas at $7.90 per million BTU. While that is three times what IID was paying for natural gas last summer, officials were concerned if they did not lock in such a price, the cost of natural gas could rise above the $7.90 mark.