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Fayetteville PWC votes to maintain base electricity rates through 2024

Commissioners also approve reduction in connection, testing fees


Base electric rates will not increase for Fayetteville residents through 2024 after action by the Public Works Commission on Wednesday morning.

PWC voted to maintain the current base electricity rate for the next 18 months.

The public utility’s board also voted unanimously to reduce customer fees for connections and other services as well as to introduce optional electricity rates aimed to support conservation and economic-development goals.

Elaina Ball, CEO and general manager of Fayetteville PWC, has said that customers requested many of the changes.

There was no discussion among the commissioners before they voted on the plans.

Commissioner Don Porter made the motion to approve the recommended electricity rates and the changes in customer-service fees. Commissioner Wade Fowler seconded the motion, and it passed.

A public hearing on the proposed new electricity rates was held July 13.

PWC’s new whole-home and whole-business rates will provide additional incentives for off-peak energy use by introducing a “super” off-peak rate that is half the current off-peak electric rate. Customers who sign up for the new rates would pay a slightly higher facility charge but, at the same time, pay a significantly lower rate for energy used from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays.

During those hours, PWC spokeswoman Carolyn Justice-Hinson said, the cost would be a little over 4 cents per kilowatt hour. The cost during peak hours would be about 13.2 cents, and during off-peak hours it would be 8.4 cents.

“The rate supports PWC’s continuing efforts to reduce energy-demand costs and provides options for electric vehicle owners to charge during low-demand hours that lessen electric and vehicle impact on the electric system,” Justice-Hinson said in support documents.

Three years ago, the utility introduced time-of-use rates to help decrease energy demand and apply the same pricing structure that PWC has with Duke Energy, its wholesale power supplier.

During peak weekday electricity use, PWC said, power costs are significantly higher than at other times of the day. Shifting energy use outside peak hours helps the utility lower overall power costs and maintain lower rates.

In February 2023, PWC will begin offering a renewable-energy buyback rate for customers who install roof-top solar-energy devices. The rate will be available for residential and small power customers that generate 10 kilowatts of power or less. The rate will replace PWC’s buy-all, sell-all rates for rooftop solar.

Also Wednesday, PWC adopted a new economic development rate for customers who supply 1,000-kilowatt loads to the PWC system or 750 kilowatts through expansion.

The discounted rate, effective in September, rewards employee and capital investments and is intended to be another economic development tool to attract new business or encourage expansion.

Also taking effect in September is a plan to change PWC’s demand and energy rate for medium-power customers to continue PWC’s efforts to manage peak-hour usage.

Justice-Hinson said the rate lowers the demand threshold from 200 to 150 kilowatts and has a 15% lower kilowatt charge. Customers currently in the rate classification will have the option to sign up for the new rate in September.

That rate will be applied to medium-power customers in September 2023.

Other changes to the PWC rate structure include reductions in fees for connections, reconnections and meter testing.

The initial connection fee would drop from $22 to $20; the after-hours connection fee would decrease from $65 to $20; the disconnection attempt fee would drop from $22 to $20; the meter testing fee for electricity would decrease from $50 to $25; and the meter testing fee for water would fall from $85 to $40.

Those savings, PWC said, are achieved by improved technology and operations.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, PWC, electricity, water