SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — The Springfield City Council has approved City Utilities' request for three electric rate increases, beginning next October.
The approval allows the utility to continue a $33 million project to retrofit some of its coal-fired power plants to meet federal environmental standards.
The rate hikes will start with a 5.9 percent increase in October 2014, followed by a 3.9 percent increase in 2015 and a 3.7 percent increase in 2016.
Supporters of the increase say the utility's rates are among the lowest in the nation and are needed to pay for new federal mandates. Opponents said customers can't afford more rate increases.
Environmental groups, especially the Sierra Club, argued that the utility should phase out coal and invest more in wind and solar power.
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