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    Dalton Utilities in Georgia may soon insert its first electricity rate increase in three years if the state's regulatory panel approves the proposal, which would send prices as much as 6.6 percent higher in 2013, the Dalton Daily Citizen reports.

    According to the media outlet, the utility proposed the rate hike to the board during the 2013 budget talks, and stated that the higher rates would help offset electricity prices for some senior citizens. The proposal also includes a 50 percent drop in the $10 base charge Dalton Utilities charges customers over the age of 65.

    "We review costs and revenues produced and see what sectors revenue are short relative to how much we charge in that sector," said Dalton Utilities President and CEO Don Cope.

    Cope added that it is more costly for the utility to supply electricity to residential customers than industrial customers, and that it has historically been selling power to residents at a discount price. The hike, therefore, is merely bringing the rates back up to normal levels, the utility stated.

    Georgia has not implemented energy deregulation laws, however doing so would help residents uncover the best electricity rates in the region.