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      The flick of a switch will cost you

      KTVO received an email from a viewer saying that Tri-County Electric Cooperative had increased its rates by 17 percent.

      The general manager said rates definitely increased, but not by 17 percent.

      â??We had a rate increase effected January first that is 1.6 cents per kilowatt hour,â?? Jane Bahler-Hurt said. â??In addition the kilowatt hour usage compared to last month went up around 17 percent, so usage went up as well, but rate increase was by no means 16 to 17 percent.â??

      She said it informed members of the changes in December of 2012.

      Hurt said there are several reasons why cost went up.

      â??Basically, our biggest rate pressure is from our power cost,â?? Hurt said. â??Our power suppliers face a lot of cost pressures. For example, fuels that they use to generate. Like you see your rates go up at the gas pump, they see their rates go up for their fuels to generate. Environmental cost. Every time you see more environmental legislation that cost our power providers millions of dollars to deal with. There (are) just general things. Construction costs, the price of metal; the materials have gone up. And, power cost makes up about 47 percent of our total cost, so if they raise just a little tiny bit we're talking a very large impact on us."

      She said if you have any questions you can call Tri-County Electric Cooperative and speak with a staff member.Click here for a form to find out your new rate and percentage. Note: You must be able to open the form in Excel.