Dear Community Leaders Council Member,
As a valued community leader and part of our CLC, I wanted to make you aware of an announcement we are making late this week. After doing everything possible to mitigate rising costs, a cost-of-service study shows that we will need to implement an overall 3.5 percent rate adjustment, effective with October bills. This is the first time in nearly a decade we have needed a rate adjustment.
While we are gratified this is well below the national average increase of over 6 percent by other utilities, it is never easy to pass along an increase to our members. This is especially tough when costs are rising across every sector and affecting all households and businesses.
The adjustment means an additional $5 for a residential member using around 1,000 kWh monthly.
Increasing cost for energy and materials to maintain and operate the electric system are the key drivers behind the adjustment. Additionally, our major transmission upgrade, which is critical to providing members with reliable service and capacity to meet current growth, is also contributing.
Materials costs have risen between 10 and 100 percent compared to last year, and our suppliers are preparing us for more increases as inflation, shortages and delays impact pricing, as well as the rising cost of natural gas and other generation sources.
Our goal is to provide members with at-cost, reliable electricity. We will continue doing everything possible to shield members from rising energy costs. And, we will return funds whenever possible as we did the last several years when we were able to give members over $40 million in bill reductions due in large part to wholesale power cost savings.
We will be communicating more through a news release, member newsletter and Carolina Country magazine.
Please reach out if you have questions about the adjustment or if we can be of assistance in any way. Thank you for your partnership with Blue Ridge Energy and all that you do as a strong community leader!
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ridge Energy