Electric bill may increase in New Bern

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – Members of New Bern’s Board of Alderman are discussing the 2024-2025 fiscal year budget at New Bern City Hall, along with proposals that could affect New Bern residents.

Earlier this month, on May 22nd, the Board of Aldermen held a workshop meeting at Pleasant Hill Community Center in New Bern, where they discussed and viewed detailed presentations debating the budget.

Despite the city of New Bern decreasing its spending by cutting certain expenses, an increase of 5% in the electric bill has caught the attention of some.

The majority of the board members approve of the increase, while New Bern Mayor Jeffrey Odham needed more time to consider the proposal and other proposals.

One New Bern resident who moved here from the Northeast says she is happy with the utilities that New Bern provides but worries what the increase may do to the community and the future.

“It’s still very affordable New Bern, I would not, however, like to see that continue to increase. I’ve seen too many small towns price themselves out of the market because of having to increase property taxes, utilities, and things like that,” says New Bern resident Beth Rose-Kearns.

Utility Financial Solutions was hired to conduct an electric utility financial study to determine the financial health of the utility and develop a three-to-five-year rate plan for the City of New Bern due to the increase in power demand and population growth.

Chris Lund, Utility Financial Solutions consultant, says that a 5% increase would suffice for the increase in demand for electricity. Lund explains that the average residential electric bill in New Bern is around $120, and with his proposal, the new electric bill in 2025 would be around $134 a month.

The decision is expected to be made sometime in June when New Bern City members will take a vote.

To watch previous board meetings or to see future meetings, please click here.