Electricity rates going up Oct. 1
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Utilities electric customers will have to dig a little deeper in their pockets to pay for the electricity they use during the October-December quarter thanks to the Tennessee Valley Authority's latest fuel cost adjustment.
The rate TVA charges its distributors is scheduled to increase 5.23 percent, effective Oct. 1, according to Bob Sittason, finance and accounting manager at HU. The higher rate will be passed on to customers across the board beginning with October billings.
"It's going to mean an increase of about $4.93 per month for the customer who uses 1,342 kilowatt hours (the average of all residential customers over a 12-month period)," Sittason said. "But it will vary from customer to customer depending on weather conditions and individual demand."
Cost of fuel adjustments made by TVA in the preceding three quarters totaled 1.35 percent and were passed on to Hartselle customers in the amount of $1.23 based on average residential use.
Sittason said last summer's drought and record-breaking high temperatures were largely responsible for the increased costs TVA experienced in providing its customers uninterrupted electric power.
"TVA was unable to produce a normal amount of low-cost power from hydroelectric generation because of low lake levels brought on by the drought," Sittason said. "Production at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant was also limited due to abnormally high temperatures of the water in the Tennessee River. At the same time record high temperatures increased customer demand and forced TVA to purchase power on the open market at higher prices to meet the demand.
"We've been told by TVA officials that the effect of the drought will linger until river and lake levels in the Tennessee Valley are back to normal."