TVA rate increase takes effect Oct. 1

Due to a recent Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) wholesale rate increase and the discontinuation of its Pandemic Relief Credit, Duck River Electric (DREMC) residential members will experience an approximately 7% rate increase effective October 1.

As a result of the TVA rate actions, DREMC residential rates will be simplified from a three-part energy rate structure to a single energy rate for all kilowatt hours (kWh) consumed, bringing the rate structure in line with other electric utilities in the Tennessee Valley. DREMC’s rate adjustment equates to approximately $2 per month increase on the average electric bill and, when combined with the TVA actions, results in an approximately $5 increase in October electric bills based on the average consumer’s volume of 1,250 kWh per month.

In the Tennessee Valley, electric rates are 17% lower than the national average. Nationally, electric rates average 13.3 cents per kWh. In Tennessee, the average rate for electric cooperatives is 11 cents per kWh; DREMC’s rate in October is 10.1 cents per kWh.

“For the past four years, the DREMC team has been diligent and innovative in cutting expenses wherever feasible and being responsible stewards of member funds during this time of unprecedented inflation,” said Scott Spence, DREMC President and CEO. “The action taken by TVA to increase its wholesale rates by 4.5% and to discontinue the $3.1 million DREMC received annually through the TVA Pandemic Relief Credit makes up this 7% increase. Had this not occurred, DREMC would not need to adjust residential rates at this time.”

Despite five years of significant inflation, DREMC has not experienced a rate increase since 2018. While the cost of some materials has increased 100%, DREMC has practiced aggressive budget-management techniques and utilized cash reserves to delay an increase in member rates for as long as possible.

Following TVA’s rate increase announcement this summer, 99 local power companies in the TVA service area have raised retail rates to account for the increase in wholesale power and the loss of the Pandemic Relief Credit across the Valley.

“DREMC’s priority is and always will be to provide safe and reliable power at the lowest possible cost. Our team will continue to operate in a fiscally sound manner to ensure member funds are used responsibly and for the benefit of the communities we serve,” said Spence.

Members needing financial assistance to pay their electric bill may qualify for DREMC’s bill payment assistance program, Project HELP. The DREMC team will also host home energy workshops across the communities we serve in the month of October to provide ways to reduce electric consumption and improve overall comfort.

More information about these two resources and others are available on the website.