SVEC must be able to fully and fairly recover the costs related to providing service to its members. This includes maintenance to ensure reliability and safety, planned and unplanned expenses such as those related to major storms, and the capital for system upgrades to meet member demand, all while maintaining adequate margins to meet the financial obligations of its lenders.
Current revenues, cash flows and margins are not adequate to meet those needs in the near term while also meeting financial metrics required by the cooperative’s lenders. Accordingly, SVEC filed for a rate revision with the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The case summary can be accessed on the Virginia SSC website.
With SCC approval granted in March 2022, revised rates were implemented beginning with bills rendered on or after May 1, 2022. Increased costs at the wholesale power level because of surging natural gas prices also took effect on SVEC member bills at this time. When considering the overall impact of the changes, the average SVEC residential member consuming 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will see a 6.5% increase in their average monthly bill over 2021.
In 2021, the average residential member monthly bill for the year was $113 at 1,000 kilowatt-hours of use. The expected average monthly bill in 2022, beginning May 1, will be $121 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of use. Of this 6.5% rise in expense, slightly more than 2% is tied to costs passed down to SVEC members from Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, SVEC’s wholesale energy provider that has seen an increase in natural gas pricing.