Effective Oct. 1, the cost for electric power for most residents of Chickamauga will increase by 2.73 percent, compared with an average TVA increase for residential service of 5.9 percent.
The citys power company, Chickamauga Electric, buys electricity from TVA, and it must have approval from TVA to raise its rates.
City Manager John Culpepper asked TVA to look at the Chickamauga Electrics finances and determine how much the city can raised it fees.
The approved 2.73 percent will increase revenues for the city by about $65,000 per year, according to Culpepper.
Last year Chickamauga Electric had $2.2 million in electricity sales to about 1,000 customers within the city limits.
The increase will translate to an additional $5.94 per month per 1,000 kilowatt hours, or an average total of $74.62 per month per 1,000 kilowatt hours, according to Culpepper.
He said in the summer monthly electric usage for an average household may be as much as 1,400 kilowatt hours, whereas in the cooler months it may only be 700-800 kwh per month.
Chickamauga Electric will still have one of the lowest rates in the area, comparable or lower than rates in LaFayette, Chattanooga, and communities on the North Georgia Electric Membership Corp. power grid, Culpepper said.
He said the city has an obligation to provide the service for the customers of Chickamauga Electric.
Were not supposed to be making money. Were supposed to operate the system, keep it debt-free and keep it in a good state of repair, he said. But youve got to put money back for emergencies and to rebuild the system.
Culpepper cited the 1996 replacement of 150 power poles at more than $1,000 each as evidence of such costs, noting that more poles are due to be inspected next summer and that some have been in the ground for more than 40 years.
I dont like to raise rates, but Ive got an obligation to serve the people of Chickamauga Power, and if we dont maintain these things they could all be laying on the ground one day after an ice storm, Culpepper said.
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