High temps could make rate hike’s effect worse

TUPELO – A 3 percent rate increase announced this week by the Tennessee Valley Authority will boost energy bills for many Northeast Mississippians, and the high temperatures could push them higher.
The TVA surcharge reflects higher fuel prices and takes effect July 1.
That will mean a $2.80 increase on the average residential customer’s monthly bill, which right now is about $111, said Tupelo Water & Light Manager Johnny Timmons.
The additional cost might not seem steep, Timmons said, but it could get worse as temperatures continue to soar.
“We’re already in the 90s,” he said. “It’s supposed to be 99 degrees (today), and it’s not even July yet. It could get worse in July and August.”
Tupelo Water & Light is among nearly two dozen consumer-owned utility groups in Northeast Mississippi that buy power from TVA, and the rate increase affects them all.
Others in the area include the New Albany Light Water & Gas, city of Oxford Electric Department and the Tombigbee Electric Power Association.
This is the fifth consecutive month TVA has announced an increase in the fuel cost adjustment.
Timmons said the best way to counteract the rate increases, which TW&L and the others levy as a pass-through, is to reduce energy use in the home and business.
Raise the thermostat to 78 degrees, reduce the hotwater heater to 120 degrees, hang clothes outside to dry and use the microwave instead of the oven or stove, Timmons said.
“It’s getting expensive,” he added, “but TVA rates are still 20 percent lower than the national average.”

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

TOP 10 ENERGY-SAVING TIPS
1.Turn up your thermostat to 78 degrees, and even higher when no one is home.
2.Perform a do-it-yourself energy audit at
www.energyright.com.
3. Lower your hot water heater to 120 degrees.
4. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use.
5.Use ceiling fans to make rooms feel 5 degrees cooler.
6.Keep curtains closed during the day.
7.Clean refrigerator coils and set the temperature to 39 degrees and the freezer to 5 degrees.
8.Use the microwave instead of the stove or oven.
9.Air-dry dishes and hang clothes on an outside line instead of using appliances.
10.Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only
when they’re full.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal