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    When the winter cold sets in this season, customers of Carroll Electric Cooperative Corp. can expect to pay a little more to keep their house warm, as the Arkansas Public Service Commission recently approved a rate increase, the Carroll County News reports.

    According to the media outlet, the PSC approved the rate hike last week, and it will raise customers’ monthly bills by about $3, or 3.59 percent. This is in regard to the average residential customer, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration states uses about 1,179 kilowatt-hours per month.

    The utility said the rate increase was necessary to pay for additional costs associated with infrastructure improvement.

    “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,” Plagge wrote in a Sept. 1 press release. “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.”

    Fortunately for Arkansas residents, the state has implemented energy deregulation laws, allowing customers to seek out the best electricity rates in the area.