September 10, 2001 11:00 pm

Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative customers face a rate increase of 30 percent beginning Oct. 1.

OTEC had announced several months ago that rates would go up by about 25 percent in October, but the power cooperative said then that the increase could be higher.

Cliff Stewart, general manager of OTEC, said the raise was triggered by a decision from the Bonneville Power Administration to raise wholesale rates by 46 percent. BPA announced the increase last spring.

The BPA increase comes through a cost recovery adjustment clause, and the rate may change within as few as six months, said Steve Schauer of OTEC.

Thats a temporary charge. They (BPA) said that may be partly or completely reduced or increased in six months, he said.

BPAs clause will be shown in a line item, a power cost adjustment, on the consumers monthly statements, Schauer said. The adjustment is included in the 30 percent increase, he said.

Customers may see a variance in the percentage increase, with some receiving about a 29 percent raise and others as much as 31 percent. Schauer said that the increase reflects the amount of kilowatt hours used by a consumer.

The electric cooperative, which serves several counties in Eastern Oregon, has urged consumers to conserve power and reduce electric consumption.