You asked: City of Franklin explains why it’s passing along fuel surcharge

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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You asked: Virginia Dominion Power’s website states it hasn’t/will not raise power rates. Why is the city doing so?


FRANKLIN—During the Franklin city council meeting on April 22, Franklin Power & Light announced it would be passing along a fuel surcharge from Virginia Dominion Power to local customers, and that would be shown in the May bills.

As reported in The Tidewater News on April 26, that the charge is a direct pass through to customers directly from Virginia Dominion Power. The charge has been adjusted every year, and sometimes results in a reduction to rates.

The 2011 fuel rate charge was $0.017 per kilowatt hour, whereas in 2012 it went down to $0.009 per kilowatt hour, and now in 2013 has gone back up to $0.011.

“We are still not at the 2011 level,” Franklin Power & Light Director Mark Bly said.

On Monday, Bly told the newspaper the information in question wouldn’t be on the Dominion website, as it shows only retail rates, and the city deals with a wholesale power contract.

Franklin purchases its power on a wholesale basis as a member of the Virginia Municipal Electric Association, which also includes Manassas, Culpeper, Harrisonburg, Elkton, Wakefield and Blackstone.

Bly said the fuel surcharge is “for power that has already been used by our customers – so it is a direct pass through to the customer.” He said some companies that buy wholesale power put these charges in the base rate, but Franklin Power & Light does not.

He said the charge was basically a “true up” for the previous year. He said the term fuel means gas, coal nuclear and biomass or “how Dominion generates the power.”

“It is not a set charge,” said Bly, who added that changes are based on consumption from year to year.