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Electric Rates Soar

power_line.jpgU.S. utilities are raising power prices up to 29% to counter rising fuel costs, USA Today reports.

In Virginia, Potomac Edison plans to raise rates 29% on July 1. AmerenUE, Missouri’s largest utility, has asked for a 12.1% boost, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma hiked rates 25% on June 1.

The price of coal has doubled since last year, largely because of surging energy use in countries such as China and India. Natural gas prices are up nearly 50%. The cost to build a power plant doubled since 2000.

And with federal legislation anticipated by 2010, even more dramatic rate increases could be ahead.

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