Cheaper power by the numbers
For EPB residential electricity customers using 1,461 kilowatt-hours:
$141.61: Residential electric bill for January
$137.19: Residential electric bill for February
$134.32: Residential bill for February 2012
January's wet and warmer weather may have flooded some low-lying areas this week, but it also is helping keep some low-income consumers financially afloat with cheaper winter heating bills.
For the second consecutive month, TVA will cut its fuel cost adjustment in February, reducing retail electricity prices about 3.1 percent next month. In Chattanooga, EPB estimates that the typical residential customer will save about $3.42 next month because of the drop in TVA's fuel costs.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, which supplies power to 9 million homes and businesses in its seven-state region, adjusts its power rates each month to reflect changes in the price of coal, gas and purchased power. With the fuel cost cut next month, February's rates for TVA will be the lowest since April 2012.
"One of the primary reasons that the fuel cost has decreased over the last few months is milder weather, which means that TVA used less fuel and avoided having to use higher-cost "peaking" generation sources," TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said.
TVA also is benefiting by above-average rainfall, which has helped boost power production from its cheapest source -- hydroelectricity from TVA's 29 power-generating dams.
TVA's fuel costs are lower despite the recent jump in gasoline prices for motorists.
The AAA fuel gauge survey of Chattanooga area service stations on Wednesday showed the average price of a gallon of regular gas has jumped by nearly 17 cents a gallon in the past month. But the average price of gas Wednesday was still under $3.19 per gallon -- nearly 7 cents a gallon below the same time a year ago in Chattanooga and 10.5 cents per gallon below the U.S. average on Wednesday.
Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...