Electric Rates to Decrease May 1

The PWC Board approved Wednesday,  a 4.7% decrease in electric time-of-use rates for residential, small and medium power customers beginning May 1, 2020.

The Board action reduced the off-peak electric rate per kilowatt hour from 9.1 cents to 8.4 cents. Off-peak rates apply 148 hours or 88% during an average week. The decrease applies November through March to electric usage outside of the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. peak hours and during the summer, usage outside of the 3 p.m.-7 p.m. peak times.

On-peak rates, which will remain the same, occur four hours a day during weekdays, except PWC observed holidays. A typical PWC residential customer, using 1000 kilowatt hours per month, would see bills drop $5.20 after May 1.

PWC’s electric Time-of-Use rates began in 2019 as an effort to reduce peak demand (on-peak hour use) when the cost of electricity from PWC’s wholesale power provider, Duke Energy is the highest.  The rate reduction comes after a re-negotiation of PWC’s contract with Duke Energy which provided $33 million in savings beginning January 2021.

“This rate decrease puts real value on what it means to our community having PWC as its hometown utility,” said Evelyn Shaw, PWC Chair. “PWC is not-for-profit and we are able to take the savings of the new contract and give it back to rate payers, instead of shareholders. It’s one of many ways we benefit our community and demonstrates our commitment as the hometown utility.”

With new contract terms, PWC expects to save $313 million (net present value savings) through 2042, including the $33 million savings prior to 2024 when the terms of the current agreement end. Over the past two years, the Commission studied various options and alternatives for PWC’s power supply after 2024. The amendment to the DEP contract was the only one that provided PWC and its customers savings before July 2024.

“We will not begin to see the financial savings of the contract changes until January 2021,” said PWC CEO/General Manager David Trego. “However, it’s important to note that providing these savings to our customers was of the utmost importance and the PWC Board wanted customers to receive the savings benefit as soon as possible and set the decrease to begin May 1, 2020. “