No new use rate for Tippah Electric Power Association customers – yet

By Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel

RIPLEY – In October of this year TVA will alter the way in which they bill Tippah Electric Power Association. TVA will move to a Time Of Use (TOU) rate when billing Tippah Electric, TEPA General Manager Tim Smith said this week.

“There will be no immediate impact on the customers of Tippah Electric as they do not plan to implement the TOU rate to their customers come October,” Smith said.

“There are many reasons that TEPA is not implementing the TOU rate on the customer side in October, but the two major reasons are, we need to complete our installation of the new AMR (Automated Meter Reading) meters. This will give us the capability of reading each customer’s meter multiple times during the day. We should have all meters changed some time in November.

“The second reason is after this is completed TEPA will need to have a rate study performed to establish and comply with TVA’s guidelines. TEPA has made a huge investment in the new AMR system, and the ability to read the meters multiple times daily is only one of the many advantages that will be provided to our customers,” according to the general manager.

Smith explained TOU rates and the future impact they will have on Tippah Electric customers.

“The TOU rate means there will be different energy prices for certain times of the day. These times are called on peak and off peak. The rate for on peak usage will be higher than what you pay now and the rates for off peak usage will be lower than what you pay now,” Smith said.

First, the rates will be as follows: there are two peak periods during the year, summer and winter. The months for summer are June, July, August, and September. The on peak time of use for these months is 1 to 7 p.m. The winter months are December, January, February, and March. The on peak time of use for these months is 4 to 10 a.m.

“These rates only apply Monday through Friday as there are no on peak rates for weekends or federal holidays. The other months of April, May, October, and November have no on peak or off peak times and are referred to as transition months,” Smith said.

The general manager explained why TVA is making the changes.

“The cost of providing power goes up during peak use times when the demand for electricity is highest, particularly in the summer and winter seasons and during certain parts of the day.

“When TVA exceeds its base load power capacity, which is the most economical power, TVA’s costs go up in a big way and they must rely on more expensive generation sources which sometimes include buying power off of their grid, which in turn can sometimes cost as much as three times more than it would normally for TVA to generate.

“Finding ways to lower peak demand on the power system will reduce the need for very expensive new power plants and keep costs lower for everyone in the valley,” he said.

Tippah Electric will not be implementing the TOU rate on the customer side in October, but Smith encouraged all TEPA customers to become more educated about the TOU rate, because eventually TEPA will more than likely transition to a TOU rate for their customers.

“Educating the customer about the rate will be the key,” Smith said. “If customers choose to watch their usage closely and alter their usage habits during the peak times, their power bill could actually decrease.”

Beginning January 2013, the Tippah Electric Staff will be conducting on site education and information sessions. If your organization, business or school would like Tippah Electric to come to your location to present a program, you may contact Alisa Smith at the TEPA office during regular business hours of Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 662-837-8139.