Members of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation will soon receive double the rate reduction for twice the length of time as previously announced due to lower wholesale power cost projections primarily driven by historically low natural gas prices.
On January through June bills, member bills will be reduced $18 for each 1,000 kwh (kilowatt hours) of electricity used. This is equal to a 15 percent rate reduction for those months.
On December bills, as previously announced, members are receiving a $9 per 1,000 kwh of electricity reduction. The average residential Blue Ridge Electric member uses 1,000 kwh monthly.
As a not-for-profit cooperative, Blue Ridge Electric returns any excess funds to its members. Recent wholesale power cost projections from the cooperative’s wholesale power provider, Duke Energy Carolinas, showed even lower costs for the next six months primarily from continued low natural gas prices. Recent domestic production of natural gas has resulted in an over-supply, which is causing the significant cost decrease.
The majority of the cooperative’s costs are from wholesale power purchases to provide electricity to members. The cooperative’s provider, Duke Energy, has increased its use of natural gas to replace retired coal plants.