TVA cuts August electric rates 2%

TVA cuts August electric rates 2%

July 17th, 2012 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

File Staff Photo by Dan Henry -- The Tennessee Valley Authority, which is a major provider of electricity, has major office operations in Chattanooga.

Soaring temperatures have put the heat on many electric ratepayers this summer, but the Tennessee Valley Authority said Monday it will provide some price relief next month.

After four months of rising fuel cost charges, TVA will cut the fuel portion of its August bills enough to save the typical Chattanooga household $3.12 during August. Wholesale rates will drop by more than 2 percent next month, leaving the fuel portion of TVA electricity charges in August down by more than 16 percent compared with the same time a year ago.

"We're seeing the benefit of lower natural gas and less-expensive purchased power," TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said Monday.

TVA raised its base rates by 2 percent last October, but the fuel portion of TVA bills has trended down in the past year despite some increases this spring.

EPB estimates the typical Chattanooga household will pay $146.06 next month for electricity, down from $149.18, because of the fuel cost adjustment.

Such relief can't come too soon for Teandra Shackleford, who paid more than $200 for her EPB light bill on Monday even though she is without a job.

"It's too high and needs to come down," she said. "It's killing us."

With this summer less than a month old, temperatures have already reached or exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Chattanooga seven times -- three days in June and four days already in July.

Andrew Najberg, a Red Bank homeowner, said he normally pays from $70 to $80 a month to cool his house in the summer. But this year's heatwave pushed his electric bill to $101 last month.

"Given how hot the weather has been, it's really not been surprising," he said. "But we always would like to pay less, so I certainly welcome any cut in rates."

The TVA board is scheduled to meet in Knoxville on Aug. 16 to approve its budget and any possible base rate increases for next year.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com.