published Saturday, July 19th, 2014

TVA to cut rates in August

Electric charges

by the numbers

* $153.78 - Typical residential electric bill this year by EPB for home using 1,461 kilowatthours

* $150.46 - Typical EPB residential electric bill projected for August 2014, down 2.2 percent from the current rate

* $145,16 - Typical EPB residential electric bill in August 2013, 3.5 percent less than the current rate

Source: EPB bills for residential customer using 1,461 kilowatthours each month.

Keeping your home or office cool during the dog days of summer should be a bit cheaper next month than it was during July.

The typical Chattanooga household will pay $3.32 less for electricity next month due to a drop in the fuel portion of the monthly light bill in August.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which adjusts a portion of its rates each month to reflect the changing price of what it pays for fuel, will lower its electric rates in August to the lowest level in five months. The average EPB customer will pay about 2.2 percent less for power next month than he or she did in July.

However, electric rates in Chattanooga are still up 3.5 percent from a year ago. Last year, TVA benefited by abundant rains, which helped the federal utility generate a near record amount of hydro generation from its 29 power-generating dams on the Tennessee River and its tributaries -- the cheapest source of power for TVA.

"This is the lowest total monthly fuel cost since March when cold weather from the first quarter of 2014 drove up demand and costs for the following months," TVA spokesman Scott Brook said. "So August is a return to more seasonal expected fuel costs. Rainfall in June was above expected, but runoff was below, so the rain didn't help as much as it could have."

So far this year, rainfall in Chattanooga is more than 6 inches below normal, although rains this weekend and into early next week should lessen the precipitation deficit.

The Chattanooga's rainfall total for 2013 was almost 16 inches above normal in what was the 10th wettest year since record-keeping began in 1879.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340

about Dave Flessner...

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 ...

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