BVU lowers electric rate, saving customers $1.75 million annually

PHOTO: Samantha Zarek

BRISTOL, VA - The board of directors has voted to accept a rate restructure expected to save customers a total of $1.75 million within the next year. It impacts all residential customers and two classes of commercial and industrial customers on a slightly smaller scale.

"Based on cost efficiencies and improvements that we've made in the internal processes here at BVU, they had the opportunity to reduce rates, and so they seized that opportunity for our customers," says manager of key accounts, rates, and contracts Chris Hall.

The TVA recently announced a wholesale electrical increase of 1.31%. That's about a $23 increase to the average customer. BVU's restructure plan saves the average customer $80 a year.

"We timed it so that our rate cut would be at the same time of TVA's rate increase. In many cases it will off-set by a substantial amount, the increase that TVA actually makes," says BVU CEO, Don Bowman.

BVU's decrease hopes to off-set the TVA's increase, saving the average customer close to $58 per year. Another part of the change includes a more consistent base rate to help balance seasonal energy costs.

"We think it's going to take out some of the highs of the winter and some of the high bills that they get in the summer and maybe be close to level. There'll still be differences, it's still based on how much electricity you use...we think that'll be an adjustment that they'll notice," Bowman says.

The TVA's rate change and BVU's rate restructure will both go into effect on October first.