Electric rates to rise in high-use months

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Electricity soon will cost more when customers use it most – in the summer months.
Starting April 1, the Tennessee Valley Authority will implement a new rate structure charging customers higher per-kilowatt-hour prices from June through September.
Prices will slide slightly from December through March, and drop to their lowest during the transition months of April, May, October and November.
By charging more at peak demand times, TVA hopes consumers will use less energy. If not, the regional utility provider will have to build or buy new power plants to meet peak demand – costs that will be passed on to customers.
“If consumers lower their electric usage during these high-cost periods, TVA could save the money spent on some of these new power plants,” TVA said in a press release.
The change affects customers of 154 local power companies that purchase energy from TVA, including Tupelo Water amp& Light and Tombigbee Electric Power Association.
“Anything we can do to reduce power demands at these peak times helps us all,” said TWamp&L Manager Johnny Timmons.
Currently, residential customers pay $0.07993 per kilowatt hour. Under the new plan, they’ll pay $0.08019 in the summer, $0.08007 in the winter, and $0.07943 the remaining months.
Over a year, a typical home consumes an average 1,250 kilowatt hours per month.
Timmons said some customers could see their bills decrease, especially if they lower their energy usage during peak months. Those who don’t modify their habits likely will see an increase overall.
TVA estimates an annual cost change of about 3 percent either way.
“Get yourself a programmable thermostat,” Timmons said. “And go to EnergyRight.com to learn about savings and to do an energy audit.”
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@journalinc.com.

By the numbers
- Starting April 1, power companies will charge customers different energy rates at different times of year. The new rate structure aims to lessen demand at peak hours.
Here’s a look at the rate difference:
CURRENTLY
• Monthly base customer charge: $4.67
• Per-kilowatt-hour charge: $0.07993
• Average monthly residential bill (based
on 1,250 kilowatt hours): $104.58
UNDER THE NEW PLAN
• Monthly base customer charge: $4.78
• Per-kilowatt-hour charge:
Summer (June-Sept.): $0.08019
Winter (Dec.-March): $0.08007
Transition (April-May; Oct.-Nov.): $0.07943
• Average monthly residential bill (based
on 1,250 kilowatt hours)
Summer: $105.02
Winter: $104.87
Transition: $104.07
Monthly fuel cost adjustment is not included in the average monthly bills shown here.
SOURCE: Tupelo Water & Light; Tennessee
Valley Authority