Blog Archive

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rates and Rewards

Over the past couple of years, you have likely heard Glasgow EPB issue requests to curtail when we predict peak electric usage. Many of our customers have responded and helped us  reduce community usage, but there is a constant question of “Why should I make the effort?”  Hopefully this blog post will shed some light on that subject, and let you know how reducing peak energy usage will  finally begin to deliver rewards.

Glasgow EPB generates no electricity. All of Glasgow’s power is purchased from TVA, and TVA also sets our wholesale rates.  The rate we pay fluctuates  each month due to varying factors relative to TVA’s cost for production of electricity. For 2014, those rates averaged around 7 cents per kWh. That is true but for the one hour each month when Glasgow’s electric power demand peaks.  During that one hour, TVA charges Glasgow EPB nearly $10.00 per kWh!  However, Glasgow EPB charges our customers about 10 cents per kWh, and that rate presently does not vary. This follows the general pattern used by all electric utilities before more capable metering became available. As you can see, 3 cents is the average retail markup during the majority of the month, however on the heaviest usage hour the Glasgow EPB loses $9.90 per kWh sold. We doubt any business person would agree that this is a viable business model.

TVA has now approved an innovative new rate for Glasgow, and for those who are listening to our requests and predictions, you will finally be rewarded for your assistance.  Later this year, when we actually implement the new rate, the energy rate will become nearly identical to the rate  TVA charges the EPB, without the 3 cent markup.  All EPB electric customers therefore will see a large reduction in the kWh rate portion  of their bill.  However, for that one hour per month, you will see an increase to the roughly $10.00 per kWh (depending on the TVA rate for the month). In order to replace the revenue we will lose due to no longer appreciably marking up kWh, a separate charge will be assessed for the cost of maintaining each customer’s connection to Glasgow’s electric grid. This charge will provide the revenue necessary  to pay for the poles, lines, transformers, etc., necessary to provide service to each residence and business – no matter how much energy a customer may use.

Over the last few years, our intense research revealed that our existing rates resulted in many customers using energy, and paying costs, that simply did not cover the costs associated with serving them.  Imagine pulling into the service station behind a massive RV whose owner decided to fill it completely full while gas was at the rate of $5.00 per gallon, then pulling off and informing the attendant that you, in your economically efficient car, would be paying his bill also. That is exactly what has happened during the entire past history of electric usage across this country. We don’t believe it is fair, TVA agreed, and we believe our customers will also resoundingly agree.

This rate will not take effect until in the fall to winter time frame of 2015, however we wanted to start the discussion, and education, relative to this new rate as soon as possible so everyone would be well informed when the time came.  We will talk to you more here, on our FB page (glasgowepb) and in numerous other ways, about this large change in the way we do our business, over the coming months.  In the meantime, if you haven’t already, why not sign up for your individualized EPB portal that will provide you with real time usage data about your service, and in the near future will show you what your bill would be under both the current rate and the coming new rate.  Just grab your EPB account number and go to to register today.    
Friday, March 6, 2015

A Very Cold Day in Glasgow

We have spent the last couple of decades pursuing an idea that we call "Infotricity". We think that electric power, combined with broadband communications and an IP address such that  all major electric loads can addressed, combine to form a new energy product -- infotricity, and that infotricity will have a much lighter impact on our environment and our wallets than the 100 year old product, electricity.

At the core of infotricity theory is the belief that loads can be managed such that peak demands can be reduced, in turn, reducing the amount of fuel needed to supply our lifestyle. Further, we will all be paying for fewer generation plants in an infotricity world. Of course, nearly all of our peers are quite certain that the idea is wacko. Some days they nearly have us convinced of that. Today is not one of those days.

Above see my home, our office, and our community. Note what is possible when we are brave enough to challenge the status quo!