Power and light director recommends 2 percent increase

Published 12:07 pm Saturday, June 7, 2014

FRANKLIN—In what Power and Light Director Mark Bly called semi-good news, he announced on Monday that due to Dominion increases on the city not being as high as anticipated, that he would recommend only a 2 percent increase to people’s bills.

The true-up charges, which are part of the agreement with the Virginia Municipal Electric Association, would drop from $2 million down to $300,000, and Franklin’s share of that whittled down from $600,000 to $30,000. With the other rates being equal, Bly felt confident in lowering the rate increase.

He said the rates from Dominion are final as of the end of May.

With a 2 percent increase, residents averaging 1300 kilowatt hours would pay $156.74 starting July 1, should council approve. This figure includes the new fuel charges, which by themselves bump up a 1300kwh user’s bill to $154.27. The new fuel charge rate will be in effect starting July 1 regardless of what council decided to do with the 2 percent increase, as council has no say in what is the fuel charge rate. Dominion, which is Franklin’s wholesale provider, sets the fuel charge rate.

As a comparison, a 1300KWH user on Jan.1 of this year would have paid $148.73.

In September, Bly said that Dominion users charged for 1300kwh will be paying $148.55, or roughly $8 less than what a Franklin Municipal resident would pay.

“This is a lot better than 5 percent,” said City Manager Randy Martin. “I’m hopeful that the fuel charge adjustment rate will decrease the following year to help lower bills.”

The city is set to vote on the budget including the potential 2 percent electricity rate increase on Monday, June 9, at its regularly scheduled meeting starting at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall.