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    County Residents Could See Higher Power Bills Due To Rising Fuel Costs


    November 24, 2021 - Spencer Morrell Staff Writer

     

      Greene County residents are likely to see an increase in their power bills in the coming months.

      Due to rising fuel costs, Greeneville Light and Power System customers will likely see a 5%-7% increase in prices according to GLPS CEO Chuck Bowlin.

      Bowlin informed the Greeneville Energy Authority on Monday that the Tennessee Valley Authority is having to pay more for the fuel it uses to generate power.

      GLPS customers will see this increase through the Fuel Cost Adjustment charge on their monthly power bill.

      The Fuel Cost Adjustment charge is set by the Tennessee Valley Authority and is tied to the cost of the fuel the TVA uses to generate power. The Fuel Cost Adjustment, or FCA, may increase or decrease slightly based on the TVA's fuel costs.

      The FCA charge is calculated by multiplying a customer's metered usage and the FCA rate.

      According to the TVA's website, this charge is how customers pay for the uranium, coal, oil and natural gas the TVA must purchase to run its nuclear, fossil, combined cycle and combustion turbine plants to keep energy flowing throughout the Tennessee Valley. It is the cost of the raw materials used to generate electricity.

      "There are over 100 local power companies in the Tennessee Valley - some choose to have a separate line item on the bill, others choose to add it into the energy charges or to the total bill. Regardless of how it is displayed on consumer invoices, all customers in the Tennessee Valley pay for the cost of fuel," according to the TVA.

      Bowlin emphasized to the Energy Authority that the price increase will not be as bad as it could have been due to the TVA locking in 80% of its fuel costs through pre-purchasing supply.

      The TVA also has a diversified mix of energy production plants, which helps stem dramatic fluctuations in fuel costs.

      Bowlin also told the Energy Authority that the TVA has reduced the number of coal power plants it operates, which will help control costs in the coming months as coal prices surge.

      Regardless of the TVA's efforts, Greene County residents will have to pay a little more to keep their homes warm this winter.

      OTHER BUSINESS

      Two sites for new electric vehicle fast chargers were approved by the TVA and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Bowlin told the Energy Authority.

      The new fast charging sites that were approved are in the Greeneville Commons and at Interstate 81 Exit 36 in Baileyton.

      The TVA and TDEC have partnered to help fund new electric vehicle fast chargers across the state of Tennessee.

      TVA and TDEC will cover 80% of the cost of the installation of the new charging stations.

      Bowlin noted that GLPS has noticed a five-fold increase in usage of the existing charging station in Baileyton, and that the station has had no maintenance issues.

      The Energy Authority will consider giving final approval to the stations' installation at a future meeting.

      The Greeneville Energy Authority's next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 27.

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