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Members of Grady EMC can expect to pay a little more for their monthly utility bills beginning next month.
The Grady EMC Board of Directors recently approved what they say is the first rate increase since 1992 and beginning Aug. 1, monthly bills will be redesigned and will break out the monthly charges for kWh of power usage, the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), and the Customer Service Availability Charge.
Member Services Director Adam Starr says the changes to the bill are an effort to be more transparent and to clearly show members what they are being charged for on a monthly basis.
The service availability charge has previously been $15 per meter, but the board has approved increasing that to $30 per meter per month.
Currently, EMC members have been paying $.076 per kWh plus a PCA at a minimum of $0.03 per kWh monthly.
Beginning Aug. 1, EMC members will begin paying $0.106 per kWh and the PCA will be near zero each month. According to Starr, the PCA fluctuates up or down based on the EMC’s actual cost to purchase power.
In a letter to members by EMC Board Chairman Eric Cohen, the board chair noted that the co-op suffered approximately $8 million in expenses as a result of Hurricane Michael. Those expenses, some of which Grady EMC anticipates reimbursement, combined with other regulatory and legal expenses contributed to the need for the new rate schedule.
According to Chairman Cohen, the rate increase is about 49 cents per day. The EMC board chose to increase the service availability charge rather than increase rate for usage in order to limit the financial impact on each member. The final decision followed months of deliberations, according to Cohen. Under the current rates, a Grady EMC customer whose monthly usage was the average of 1,100 kWh, their monthly bill is $131.60, which includes $83.60 for electricity, an average of $33 for PCA and the $15 per meter service availability charge.
Beginning in August, that same member’s bill is projected to be $146.60 with $116.60 for power, zero for PCA and the $30 per meter service availability charge.
“It remains the mission of Grady EMC to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity to each of our consumer-members. We will continue to work hard to minimize the impact of price increases and truly believe that even with the $15 increase in service availability charge, the value of electricity remains high,” Chairman Cohen stated.
Grady EMC officials have also announced the annual membership meeting is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18 and once again will be held at Cairo’s Family Worship Center. Registration will be held from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. and the business meeting is slated to begin at 10 a.m.