The Tennessee Valley Authority wants to hear from electric customers on its proposed rate change.
Even though it would reportedly be revenue neutral for TVA, it will have an impact on customers' wallets.
The proposed rate change will move costs from the industrial class onto the commercial and residential classes, which will result in those customers having to pay more for the electricity they use.
TVA provides energy for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states, including Cookeville Electric, Upper Cumberland Electric Corporation and Volunteer Energy Cooperative.
The TVA says the rate change would revise the structure of wholesale electric power rates to better align wholesale rates with the underlying costs to serve the 154 local power companies who serve TVA's service territory. As proposed, the standard service energy rate would be reduced and a grid access charge would be established to recover the same amount.
According to the VEC statement posted on the company's Facebook, TVA has increased the wholesale rate each October by 1.5 percent over the last five years.
The proposed grid access charge will be applied as an additional charge per kilowatt-hour on the first 1,000 kWh of monthly usage. The proposed rate is $.002 per kWh, in addition to the standard energy rate.
"The grid access charge will have the greatest impact on members using 1,000 kWh or less of energy in a month," VEC officials stated. "We estimate the effect on these smaller accounts to be an increase of 2-2.5 percent, in addition to the 1.5 percent wholesale rate increase that will be applied to all accounts in October, and the 1 percent access charge premium that will be applied to all energy being sold."
All of those changes will equate to an increase of between 3.5 and 5 percent on a typical residential bill.
This has not yet gone before the TVA board for approval, but public comments are welcome through April 9 by emailing Matthew Higdon at firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail, 400 West Summit Hill Dr., WT 11D, Knoxville, TN 37902.
All local electric company officials encourage customers to make their voices heard.
The proposed changes can be viewed at TVA's website at www.tva.gov/environment/environmental-stewardship/environmental-reviews/2018-rate-change.