Ups and Downs of TVA 2008 in Bristol

Ref. 10/01/2008 By Associated Press (extract)

The Tennessee Valley Authority's largest electric rate increase in more than three decades takes effect Wednesday as thousands of consumers already are struggling to pay their power bills and avoid service cutoffs. A 20 percent rate hike from the nation's largest public utility is expected to add $15.80 to $19.80 a month to the average residential bill. It's TVA's biggest rate boost since 1974 and its second this year.

The hike takes effect in a week of alarming financial news, with the biggest one-day point drop in Wall Street history and the failure of a federal bailout plan that President Bush pitched as essential to steady the struggling economy. Consumers are worried about how they'll pay the higher bills when other basics such as gas and groceries are costing more, too...

Nearly all of TVA's 159 distributors in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia are expected to pass the higher rates on to their customers - factories, businesses and some 8.8 million residents. The electric rate increase was blamed on skyrocketing costs for coal and natural gas to fuel TVA's power plants and a three-year drought that has hurt TVA's hydroelectric dams, the agency's cheapest source of electricity...

TVA cuts rates 4 percent

(This concerns Johnson City, but Bristol is also on TVA.)

Plunging prices for natural gas and lower demand for electricity should mean a break for area electricity customers come January, when the Tennessee Valley Authority will reduce its charge to local power distributors, the agency announced Thursday, adding that "residential customers can expect a decrease ranging from about $4 to $8 in their monthly power bills."

The reduction likely will amount to about 4 percent, and help offset an increase from TVA for the quarter that began Oct. 1, which resulted in a nearly 17 percent hike in energy costs for Johnson City Power Board customers...that news was a welcome relief to officials at the JCPB, which also is working on a plan to contribute to a safety net for customers struggling to pay their bills. JCPB commissioners directed staff members at their October meeting to seek ways the Power Board can bolster the resources available for customers who are struggling to pay their bills...

Were rates to drop to 9.42 cents per kilowatt hour, a JCPB customer using 2,000 kwh a month (not uncommon during the winter heating season) would see a savings of nearly $8 a month and an "energy charge" of about $188.40 instead of $196.40 at the current rate. For the January-March period of 2008, that same 2,000 kilowatt hours would have cost a JCPB customer about $147. 11/14/2008 Kingsport Times-News

What do residents say?

I've sit with some elderly people (some in their eighties) and watched them struggle with trying to pay their bills, especially utilities, because Social Services in Bristol refused to help them. Most of them couldn't even buy the food they needed.

Did we need the Optinet that much????? They're not retirees moving here, they are local people born here and struggling all their life to survive....

TVA needs to consider that smaller towns and rural area citizens do not receive the same pay scale that larger cities do. My mother is 87 years old and worked until age 65. She only gets a little more than $500 a month, because of what wages were when she worked. Her most recent light bill was $276, more than half of what she draws per month. There is nothing she can cut out of her budget to pay these ridiculous rates. Let the TVA executives try living on $500 a month and see how far they get.

I can't believe this!! I cannot afford to live in the Bristol Virginia area anymore..this is nuts!!! Since the beginning of the phone/cable/internet service at BVU they have had financial problems that have evidently been passed on to customers who use their sorry electric service.

The electrical service and water service in the Bristol VA limits is so bad that we almost see a monthly power outage or water line break. Where is the money going?

Web site Copyright Lewis Loflin, All rights reserved.
If using this material on another site, please provide a link back to my site.