Lake Worth reduces electric rates

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Lake Worth Utility customers will soon get some relief on their electric bill.

On Tuesday the city commission voted to reduce electric rates by 6.4 percent for all residential and commercial customers. The new rate goes into effect October 1, 2012, the start of the city's fiscal year, said Michael Bornstein, city manager.

The reduction includes the elimination of the conservation charge, Bornstein said.

The drop is welcomed news for Lake Worth residents who say they pay the highest electric rate of anyone in the county, said Crece Vojtas, a College Park resident.

Vojtas was one of about 26,000 utility customers who was without power for more than seven hours on Wednesday.

Bornstein said the power outage happened in the course of replacing an old transformer with a new one.

"We were working on replacing one of the main transformers when the ceramic insulator failed," Bornstein said. "The new generation transformer is part of our efforts to upgrade the system."

He said that in addition to the insulator failing, the city's phone system crashed as angry customers were calling the utility to find out when power would be restored.

"We apologize, the telephone system did not worked properly," Bornstein said.

Bornstein said that the city is also moving forward with negotiations on power supplier options and that they expect rates to continue to drop.

Lake Worth Utilities serves customers  in Lake Worth and parts of Palm Springs and unincorporated Palm Beach County.

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