Business Briefcase: TVA seeks better rates

Business Briefcase: TVA seeks better rates

August 19th, 2012 by Dave Flessner in Business Diary

TVA seeks better rates

The Tennessee Valley Authority expects to regain its rank among the top 25 percent of U.S. utilities for its electricity rates by 2020, TVA President Tom Kilgore said last week.

Among the nation's 100 largest electric utilities, TVA now ranks 39th lowest in the price of its power. TVA has set a goal of regaining its top quartile ranking for electricity prices, and Kilgore said the federal utility should regain that status within the next eight years.

TVA directors voted last week not to raise rates in fiscal 2013.

Even though TVA rates are not as competitive with some utilities as it was through most of its 79-year history, the value of TVA power is still cheaper than in the past, Kilgore said. Since 1946, the price of a TVA-generated kilowatthour of electricity has quadrupled in price from 2 cents to just under 9 cents. By contrast, a pound of American cheese has risen in price more than six times from 64 cents to $4.03, while a loaf of bread has risen in price more than 14-fold from 10 cents to $1.42.

Coke doesn't lose its fizz

A share of Coca-Cola Co. stock bought for $40 when the company went public in 1919 would be worth more than $10 million today with dividends reinvested annually. But Coke, which split its stock in a 2-for-1 deal in April for the 11th time in its history, still sees plenty of growth around the world. In a speech to the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce last week, Coca-Cola Senior Vice President Clyde Tuggle said the company is shooting to double in size by 2020. Coca-Cola earned $8.6 billion on sales of nearly $46.5 billion last year.

Tuggle said per capita Coke sales in rapidly growing countries like China, India and Brazil are only a fraction of the average U.S. Coke consumption of 400 8-ounce drinks a year.

Coke was first bottled in Chattanooga in 1899 when Coke sold its bottling rights for $1.

VW Jetta sets speed record

Hybrid vehicles may be preferred more for their gas mileage than their speed, but Volkswagen is out to change that image. Last week, Volks-wagen announced that a 2013 Jetta Hybrid driven by Motor Trend Associate Road Test Editor Carlos Lago recorded a speed of more than 185 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats, near Wendover, Nev., during the Southern California Timing Association's annual Speed Week. This is the fastest speed ever achieved by a production-based hybrid car on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats.

Jonathan Browning, president of VW Group of America, said the speed record makes the new Jetta "a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class." The car gets 45 miles per gallon, but Browning said it "also retains the fun-to-drive nature you expect from a Volkswagen in a segment dominated by less exciting vehicles."

NY banker named to Unum board

Timothy F. Keaney, vice chairman of BNY Mellon and CEO of BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, has been elected to the board of the Chattanooga-based Unum Corp.

Keaney is a member of BNY Mellon's executive committee, which oversees day-to-day operations for the banking giant. Prior to the merger of The Bank of New York Company Inc., and Mellon Financial Corp., Keaney was head of The Bank of New York's asset servicing business and head of the company's presence in Europe.

"We are very fortunate to have Tim join our board," said William J. Ryan, chairman of the board of Unum Group. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and financial services leadership, and I am confident his expertise and strategic insight will be a tremendous asset to Unum."

Unum is the world's largest disability insurer with annual revenues of nearly $11 billion.