Expect higher electric bill beginning May

Published 10:38 am Friday, April 26, 2013


FRANKLIN—Franklin Power & Light customers will see an increase of $2.46 per 1,000 kilowatt hours beginning in May.

“That is just the increase to the fuel charge,” said Franklin Power & Light Director Mark Bly. “That is on a weighted average of 2.29 percent because June-September is a little higher rate than what we have for the winter months.”

This charge, which went into effect April 1 and will be reflected on May bills, is a direct pass through to customers directly from Virginia Dominion Power.

Franklin City Manager Randy Martin notes the city has anticipated the increase all year.

“We have advised council and the citizen groups that we have talked to, that each year we are subject to changes in the fuel factor charge,” Martin said.

The charge has been adjusted every year for the past 14 years; in 2012 Franklin saw a reduction in the fuel charge.

“This charge is not always an up,” Martin said. “We are still below where we were last March when this charge was reduced.”

Power & Light customers could also possibly see an additional increase of $3.32 per 1,000 kilowatt hours effective July 1. The second increase is from a proposed 3.6 percent increase in the Virginia Dominion wholesale power rate for the city.

“I understand when we get these increases we pass it through to our customers,” said Councilman Greg McLemore. “We can’t help it when Dominion raises its rates on us. We can find other areas where we can reduce on our utility bills to help our citizens.”

Martin notes one area the city is looking to help its customers is by reducing the solid waste fee that is $42 for residential customers.

“We are still working through the exact numbers,” Martin said. “The way the budget looks currently we could give the council the option of another rate reduction in our solid waste garbage fee.”

In 2012 city residents saw a decrease of $1.17 per month in garbage bills to help offset last year’s electric rate increase.