A search to ease an electricity rate shock in Owensboro could have rates going up anyway. When Owensboro Municipal Utilities officials crunched the numbers and learned rates needed to go up 27%, city govenment said there must be another way. The City Commission and Owensboro Municipal Utilities representatives have been struggling over a dramatic rate hike for nearly a month. Now, the city has hired consultants to study the situation. The deadline for the consultants report is July 1st. In the mean time OMU is losing at least one million dollars a month. This is why OMU General Manager Stan Conn is pressing for an interim rate hike of 15% or on average $11. Originally OMUs plan was a graduated hike over three years - the first phase being a 15% increase starting in June. Now, even after hiring the consultant, it could be the fifteen percent hike happens anyway. OMU officials say the longer it takes to come up with a solution, the more it will cost to re-build the companys dwindling reserves. They say an interim rate hike could be their only hope. OMU has not raise rates since 19-92. All parties agree this was a mistake. From here on out, officials say the company and the city will work more closely together.