The following will also be featured in the Manager’s Comments section of the October magazines.
Members of Powell Valley Electric Cooperative should expect to see an increase in their electric bills beginning in October. Our average residential member-owner will pay around $5.00 more per month for energy.
As a member-owned cooperative, we want to speak plainly with you about this change in our rates. There are two main factors that led to this increase.
The Tennessee Valley Authority recently announced a 4.5% increase to the rates it charges Powell Valley Electric Cooperative for energy. The need to construct new power plants, inflation and higher interest rates were some of the reasons the TVA board elected to increase prices. Powell Valley Electric Cooperative purchases all our energy from TVA, so this increase means that we will pay more for energy than we have in the past.
TVA also announced it will be suspending the 2.5% Pandemic Relief Credit it has extended to Powell Valley Electric Cooperative since 2020. Our Board of Directors had previously voted to pass 100% of this money through to its members each year. The suspension of this credit will also have an effect on members’ bills.
It is important to put these changes into context. Even with the increase, Powell Valley Electric Cooperative’s rates remain below the national average. In June, the national average price for residential energy was 16.11 cents per kilowatt-hour, 6 cents higher than PVEC’s average residential cost.
National averages aside, we understand that this will have very real impacts on families and businesses in our communities. We believe it is important to be upfront with you about these rate increases. We understand that this may place a financial burden on our members. If you’re having trouble paying your utility bill, help may be available. Learn more about payment assistance options at https://www.pve.coop/account/energy-assistance and https://energyright.com/residential/energy-assistance.
While rates might change from time to time, one thing remains the same: We are committed to acting in the best interests of our consumers. We are making smart investments in the power grid to ensure that our communities have the energy you need, today and tomorrow. The team at Powell Valley Electric Cooperative remains focused on providing you with safe, reliable and affordable energy, and that is something you can count on.