McPherson Board of Public Utilities General Manager Tim Maier informed the McPherson City Commission at Monday's meeting of the statistics for the utility for the first quarter of 2014.
Maier said that on the electric side, kilowatt-hour sales were up 7.12 percent over last year, which is the utility's biggest increase in usage since 2011.
Maier said, "It appears our industries are doing a little bit better than they have been in the past."
Costs for energy have been rising significantly. According to statistics provided by Westar to the BPU, their cost for energy transmission and purchased capacity is now 4.23 cents per kilowatt hour. That is up nine percent. Just the fuel bill for energy is up to 2.47 cents, which is up 1.6 percent. The capacity charge is up 26.5 percent and the transmission charge is up 28.2 percent.
Residential electric customers represented 7.4 percent of sales and that sector was up 5.2 percent. Commercial is 10.1 percent of the sales and is up 4.6 percent. Industry represents 73.9 percent of electric sales. That sector is up 8.1 percent. Costs for residential electricity were 7.4 cents per kilowatt-hour, commercial was 8.2 cents per kilowatt hour and industry was 5 cents per kilowatt hour.
On the water side, gallons sold were down 3.17 percent. Residential customers made up 43 percent of water sales, down 8.2 percent, while commercial makes up 52.6 percent of water sales, that sector was up .9 percent. However, Maier reminded commissioners that water meters have been read once in March since his last report, so there isn't much of a trend to report at this point, as all winter sales are lumped in to that one measurement.