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    Carroll County, Arkansas, residents may soon start paying higher electricity rates if Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation’s proposal of a 9 percent rate hike is approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, the Carroll County News reports.

    According to the media outlet, the company filed a request with the regulator on Monday, which was the second proposal since August 1. The higher rates are expected to help cover the cost of new power generating capacity, officials from the company stated.

    When combined, the two requests that have been filed with the APSC could mean ratepayers will soon see electricity bills that are about 9 percent higher.

    “Despite the cooperative’s best efforts to control expenses, the fact is, the cost of operating an electric system has significantly increased over the past decade,” said Carroll Electric spokesperson Nancy Plagge. “Carroll Electric added $267 million in assets during this time period, building and improving the backbone of its system to adequately provide electricity to its 88,000-plus consumers.”

    When electricity rates rise in states with energy deregulation laws in place, such as Arkansas, customers have the option to switch independent electricity suppliers. This competition has led many such companies to move into the state, including Spark Energy.