Laclede Electric Cooperative customers will be seeing an increase in rates in April.

Laclede Electric Cooperative announced, in a recent press release, that it will be putting a new rate schedule into effect for bills "rendered after April 20, 2017."

According to the press release, all residential and commercial accounts "will receive a $4.20 increase to the Service Availability Charge."

The release said an additional new change that is coming is meant "to simplify the Residential Rate Structure." The change will be moving to a flat charge of $0.081 per kWh. Currently, according to the release, it contains two kWh blocks.

Laclede Electric reports that the average member who uses 1,300 kWh "currently pays $126.36" per month.

"After the April 2017 increase they will pay $129.30, which is an increase of $2.94 or 2.30% per month," the release stated.

CEO and General Manager Marc Roecker is quoted in the release as saying, " In late 2016, Laclede Electric completed a rate analysis and budget review. We were informed that wholesale power supply costs would be increasing and just as many aspects of today’s business costs continue to rise, so have our costs to deliver electricity to our members."

“After carefully analyzing our projections, in order to maintain adequate financial strength and continue providing safe, reliable electric service, it will be necessary for us to adjust our pricing structure,” continued Roecker. “As a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative, our philosophy is to raise rates only when necessary to cover the cost of doing business, not marked up to generate a profit. We will continue to be diligent in controlling costs and remain focused on our mission of serving our members with safe, reliable and reasonably-priced electric service.”