Summer brings higher temperatures, power rates

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By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – As temperatures increase this summer, so will electricity rates for Tupelo Water and Light customers.
Tupelo’s public utility, among the 155 local power companies in TVA’s service area, most recently changed electricity rates this month, which will be reflected on July bills.
TVA required utilities receiving power from the provider to make the change by October 2012 to encourage conservation and better reflect the cost of producing it, said spokesman Travis Brickey.
“The rate structures are designed to provide slightly higher prices or slightly lower prices depending on the time of day or the season to encourage power companies and consumers to shift their energy use from high-cost generation periods for TVA to less expensive generation periods,” Brickey said in a statement.
Each utility had the option of billing higher rates during different times of the day or making the changes seasonal. In Tupelo, customers experience seasonal power rate changes. Highest costs are during the summer months, followed by winter. Transition months of April, May, October and November have the lowest rates.
Johnny Timmons, director of Tupelo Water and Light, rates on an average monthly bill of 1,000 kilowatt hours will see a few dollars difference, depending on the season: $68.93 in the summer, $66.24 in the winter and $64.54 in transition months.
Timmons said customers should consider cost-saving measures to save on energy expense during the summer, such as using fans and installing pre-programmable thermostats.
A full list of energy saving tips can be found at tva.gov.
In an outlook beneficial for pocketbooks and people spending time outdoors, forecasters anticipate a summer without too many days of temperatures of more than 100 degrees.
Mike Brown, Mississippi state climatologist, said people in the state can expect “normal” summer heat.
“I don’t see any blistering 100-plus temperature days on the horizon,” he said.
However, he said high amounts of rain during the spring will likely lead to increased humidity, which “gives the feel of higher temperatures.”
robbie.ward@journalinc.com