July bills for power up $1.94

July bills for power up $1.94

June 14th, 2012 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

BY THE NUMBERS

$1.94 - Average monthly increase in July electric bills for typical EPB residential customer

1.3 - Percent increase in July's fuel cost adjustment compared with June

7.5 - Percent decline in fuel cost adjustment compared with a year ago

6 - Percent cut in power rates by Georgia Power due to fuel cost cut in June

Electricity rates will be heating up with the July weather in the Tennessee Valley.

TVA said Wednesday its wholesale power rates will increase again next month because of another increase in the utility's monthly fuel cost adjustment caused by hotter and drier summertime weather. Despite cheaper natural gas and gasoline prices, TVA said its cheapest source of power, hydroelectricity generation from its 29 power-generating dams, is only two-thirds of normal.

"Our forecast for July includes higher sales due to warmer temperatures and as usage rises we tend to use generation from more expensive fuels," TVA spokesman Travis Brickey said Wednesday.

The higher charges will add anywhere from $1 to $2.50 on to the typical residential electricity bill in July. But Brickey said the fuel portion of TVA's rates still will be 7.5 percent below where they were a year ago after previous rate cuts.

In Chattanooga, EPB Chief Financial Officer Greg Eaves estimates the higher fuel charge in July will raise the typical residential electricity bill by $1.94 next month, or 1.32 percent, based on the typical household that uses 1,461 kilowatt-hours a month.

July will be the fourth consecutive month of higher fuel cost adjustments to TVA wholesale rates. To the south, Georgia Power cut its electric rates by 6 percent this month, saving the typical residential customer $8 a month, because of lower natural gas prices.

Georgia Power derives nearly one-third of its power from natural gas, or nearly twice as much as the gas-fired generation by TVA.