HU raising electric rates
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Utilities customers will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay their electric bills after Oct. 1 based on a two-part rate adjustment approved recently by board members.
The first part of the increase stems from a 7.52 percent rate adjustment made by the Tennessee Valley Authority to its distributors. As a pass-through, it will amount to $5.15 per residential customer per month, based on an average usage of 1,272 kilowatt hours per customer, per month.
The second part amounts to $1.89 per residential customer per month, based on the same average monthly demand. Of the total, 84 cents comes from a base rate increase and $1.05 from a usage increase.
On average, the two adjustments total $7.01 per customer per month.
HU Manager Ferrell Vest said TVA's adjustment was approved July 26 because of increased costs associated with fuel costs at its coal and natural gas generating plants plus the cost of buying power from outside sources.
"The increased cost to Hartselle will be approximately $649,000 the first year. Our staff reviewed its impact and recommended to the board that the full amount be passed through to our customers. That's what most other TVA distributors are doing," Vest said.
Vest said lost revenues from a 3 percent rate decrease made in 2001 coupled with increased costs associated with a new substation and other electric department upgrades prompted the staff to request an additional rate adjustment.
"We needed $242,000 of additional revenue to get us where we should be and the rate increase we asked for was calculated to achieve that amount," he added.
Vest also pointed out that a study conducted by TVA recently showed Hartselle's electric rates at number 47 among TVA's 155 distributors.