Back in late January Oncor told the Public Utility Commission it wanted to raise Dallas residents' electricity bill by, oh, let's say $4 to $5 a month. Even though there'd been a three-buck jump in your bill only two years ago. Said Oncor, look, it had no choice: People aren't wasting electricity like they used to, the customer base isn't growing like it ought to, and it's investing, like, hundreds in infrastructure upgrades. (I kid?)
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The city council delayed the inevitable while it the 147-cities-strong Oncor Cities Steering Committee negotiated a more "reasonable" rate hike with the power provider. On Wednesday, the council gets the news: Residents won't see that 16.5-percent spike after all. Instead, Oncor's going to raise rates by 6.2 percent -- which should run most residents somewhere around $1.50 more per month, on average. Also part of the settlement: Oncor will only trim trees "reactively" as opposed to cyclically. And there's a rate-hike freeze -- two whole years. Unless there's a strong sustained wind, in which case all bets are off.