As the weather turns colder, Chattanooga motorists and homeowners will still be enjoying cheaper energy prices this fall than what they paid a year ago.
Gasoline prices in Chattanooga fell another 4.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.24 per gallon on Monday according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations released today. In an abnormally volatile market for the fall, gas prices in Chattanooga are 7.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and 29.8 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago.
"While we await any evidence of a trade deal signed between China and the U.S., we remain in a period of overall volatility at a time of year we're accustomed to seeing prices fall," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "Expect this roller coaster to continue. I can't remember an autumn where we saw so many factors that could impact prices so quickly and in such different directions."
But DeHaan said prices at the pump still remain the lowest for this time of the year since 2016.
Cheaper fuel, including stable or even lower prices for coal, natural gas and renewable energy, are also helping to keep electric rates lower this fall for Chattanooga homeowners compared with a year ago. Despite an increase in November compared with the current month, the fuel cost portion of electric bills next month will still be below a year ago, helping to keep overall residential power bills in Chattanooga next month at a rate 1.1% below what was charged in November 2018.
The Tennessee Valley Authority said it will raise its fuel cost adjustment next month to reflect the recent dry and hot weather and the upcoming colder weather.
"The increase in November from October is mainly due to warm, dry weather in September," TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said. "It's not unusual for fuel costs to rise as we go into the colder weather months."
The change in the fuel portion of power bills will raise the typical residential electricity bill for Chattanooga homeowners in November by nearly 2.3% above the current price. For the typical home owner using 1,295 kilowatthours of electricity a month, the higher fuel costs will push up the monthly power bill in November by $3.15 above the October bill for the same amount of power.
But fuel costs for next month are still lower than is normal for previous Novembers. Brooks said the average fuel rate for TVA power next month is 12% lower than the average rate for November fuel costs over the past three years. As a result, the typical EPB residential bill next month will still be 1.1 %, or $1.54 for an average monthly use of 1,295 kwh, less than in November 2018.
TVA is not raising its base electric rates in fiscal 2020 for the first time in six years. TVA adjusts its wholesale rates each month based upon the cost of its fuel used to generate its electricity.
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 757-6340.