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BREMCO: Wholesale Power Increases Lead to 2.5 Percent Rate Adjustment Average, Starting in October

Press Release from BREMCO:

Aug. 21, 2012. Rising wholesale power costs are driving the need for a rate adjustment recently approved after thorough study by the board of directors for Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.

Beginning in October, the average Blue Ridge Electric member using 930 kilowatt hours per month will see an additional $2.70 on their monthly electric bill. It is a 2.5 percent overall rate adjustment.

“As rising costs for wholesale power are impacting utilities and consumers across the nation for the foreseeable future, Blue Ridge Electric is working to keep the impact as low as possible for our members,” said Doug Johnson, chief executive officer of Blue Ridge Electric. “Our wholesale power agreement with Duke Energy provides the lowest cost wholesale power available, but Duke’s costs are increasing this year and are projected to continue increasing over the next few years.

“Electricity prices have been relatively stable since the 1990s, but as a nation, we’re now entering a period where significant, costly factors are coming together: closing coal plants that can’t meet environmental laws and replacing them with new power generation plants, and investing in transmission delivery systems to ensure reliable electricity and compliance with new environmental and security regulations,” he said.

“We’re seeing billions of dollars spent to comply with state and federal environmental laws such as the North Carolina Smokestacks Act and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, as well as the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, to protect our environment,” Johnson added.

Johnson said Blue Ridge Electric will continue working hard to control costs for its members. “It’s never easy to pass along increases to our members and we only implement a rate adjustment when absolutely necessary.

“We want to help members keep their bills as low as possible, even with the current cost pressures. Our goal is to do that while keeping electricity reliable and providing the quality service our members deserve,” he said.

Blue Ridge members can find ways to save on monthly electric bills by visiting www.BlueRidgeEMC.com and taking the online energy audit which is linked to their home’s specific usage. If a member doesn’t have Internet access, he or she can call the cooperative and a member representative will assist in the energy audit and identifying ways to save money. Blue Ridge Electric also offers a free electricity monitoring tool at www.MyUsage.com. Energy Savers booklets are also available in local district offices.

Look for more details on the rate adjustment in the September member newsletter, Membership Matters, inside Carolina Country magazine.

Blue Ridge Electric serves some 74,000 member-owners in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, and Alleghany counties as well as parts of Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties.