Weather, TVA’s October rate increase result in higher electric bills; Tri-Co. gives savings tips

From Tri-Co. Electric

Mild temperatures in October and the first part of November prevented TVA’s October 1st rate increase from seriously impacting many Tri-County Electric member-owners.  

Unfortunately colder weather has caused the TVA rate increase to be felt by everyone.  In the thirty one day billing cycle of November 17th through December 18th, there were 18 days that the low temperature was below 30 degrees and on 10 of those days the low temperature was below 25 degrees.

Tri-County Electric did not have a rate increase and will receive no additional revenue from TVA’s 20 percent wholesale rate increase (17% retail rate increase) that went into effect October 1, 2008.  

Tri-County Electric informed their member-owners of TVA’s rate increase in September and Paul Thompson, Executive V.P. & General Manager, explained “as a distributor of TVA power, when higher prices force TVA to increase its rates, we must pass those costs along to our customers.“  

Last month Tri-County Electric issued a press release notifying our member-owners that we will be passing along TVA’s fuel cost adjustment decrease effective January 1, 2009. 

“We realize the electric bills our member-owners are currently receiving are quite shocking”, said Thompson.  “The cold weather forced us to severely feel the impact of TVA’s October rate increase.  We realize this electric bill will place a burden on many of our member-owners and I would encourage anyone facing difficulty paying their bill to contact their local Tri-County Electric office for a list of agencies that will provide assistance.”

In addition to providing information on local assistance agencies, Tri-County Electric continues to provide information that was first published in September:

To start saving energy and money on their power bills, Tri-County Electric member-owners may take a few simple steps, which include completing an online home energy audit at energyright.com or contacting their local Tri-County Electric office. Member-owners who complete the audit will receive a free energy efficiency kit to help them get started. 

When used these energy-saving tips will reduce their bills:

• Turn up your cooling system’s thermostat:  over an eight hour period, each degree thermostats are set back can save 3% on heating bills and each degree they are set up can save 5% on cooling bills.

• Lower the setting of your water heater thermostat. 

• Turn off lights, appliances, computers and other home electronics when not in use.

• Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, which use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer. 

• Use the microwave or toaster oven instead of a stove burner or oven for cooking. 

• Operate dishwashers and clothes washers only with full loads and after 8 p.m.

Take the energy right Home e-Valuation mentioned above, receive the free energy kit, use all the contents and save $2 – $4 per month.

Visit us at  www.tcemc.org for additional tips on lowering your monthly bill.