4-County Electric Will Not Pass On Latest TVA Rate Increase

COLUMBUS. Miss. (PRESS RELEASE) – Electricity rates may be going up around the Tennessee Valley, but 4-County Electric Power Association members won’t see an increase.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors in August approved a budget that included a rate increase of 1.5 percent.

The increase will go into effect Oct. 1 for most TVA customers.

But 4-County, thanks to cost-saving measures and fiscal prudence, will be able to absorb the TVA increase and won’t pass the rate increase on to its members.

4-County CEO Joe Cade says 4-County has been working to reduce costs for a while, all with the goal of keep rates as low as possible.

“We have done large things, such as consolidating from six different offices to two and we’ve done smaller things such as being more efficient in our everyday processes. And it has paid off. We are proud to be able to say that because our members have supported us in our drive to provide the best service at the lowest possible cost, we are able to avoid raising rates in October. We know that consolidating offices was a big change, but the impact to our bottom line means a reward to our members,” Cade said.

Although 4-County will continue to work to keep costs down, members can expect impact from future increases.

“The cost to make and supply power rises every year and that means the cost to the consumer will also increase,” Cade advised.

He says TVA is planning increases for the next few years. “TVA has communicated to all Local Power Companies (LPCs) to expect about a percent and a half increase every year through at least 2020,” he added.

4-County Chief Financial Officer Brian Clark says that the cooperative will continue to strive to save money in any way it can.

“Electricity is still a great value. A kilowatt hour costs about 11 cents today and it was about 4 cents back in 1939 when 4-County first started supplying power to the area. That’s an increase of only 7 cents over nearly 80 years. But costs for the poles, lines, transformers and everything else we use to bring power to our members go up every year. We do our best to get the best prices we can so the impact to our member is as small as possible. We also look for any way we can to be more efficient in what we do,” he said.

Clark says one way members can help keep costs down is to take advantage of the E-Bill option.

“With E-Bill, members don’t get a printed bill. All billing and payment communication is done electronically. That saves us on printing and mailing costs which can really add up with more than 47,000 accounts.”

Members interested in E-Bill or other payment options can call 1-800-431-1544 or visit the website at www.4county.org

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