The city of Ames is launching a new electric rate schedule that may hurt some houses of worship. It will charge more based on weekly peaks customers reach in electric use, no matter how much they use the rest of the week. Donald Kom, Ames’ director of Electric Services, says it’ll hurt churches who use a lot of power just on Sunday.

“Large churches it shouldn’t affect that much, because many of the larger churches have activities that continue to happen throughout the week,” Kom says. “They may have day cares that are using their facilities. They may have Bible studies.”

The new rate schedule is designed to get customers to scale back the peaks in electric use, so the city can avoid having to build a new power plant. Kom says Ames is trying to help anyone who will be impacted by the change.

“We’re looking at those customers, churches and others that fall into that same category and we’re being proactive to say, ‘Okay, church, this change could affect you. What can we do to help you shave that peak?’,” Kom says. He says he’s hearing from churches and from some large commercial customers who may see higher bills.