ATHENS, Tenn. – Directors at Athens Utilities Board (AUB) voted Tuesday night to bump the rate in the power division up slightly going into the second quarter of 2024.

The increase is only a little under 3 percent (2.9%).

AUB has moved methodically on rate changes, never increasing more than is necessary to properly run the utility.

As most can imagine, costs for all materials AUB must buy have risen notably just in the past year, bringing on the need for a small increase to keep all costs covered and effectively run the utility for the community.

“We know the score, believe me.  No increase is ever wanted and no increase ever feels good, but I feel that our customers will understand that AUB has kept things as tight as possible.  We never have an increase that is not needed,” said AUB’s Amy McDonald.

The local rate actions will be effective April 1.

April is the first of four “transition season” months in TVA’s ratemaking system, and has the lowest base rates of the year.  With these lower base rates and fuel costs, the total power rate for April will actually decline from the current $0.10585 to $.09865 even after our rate increase.

We have raised rates only three times since 2008, those increases occurred as inflationary pressures began to hit our business hardest.  The increases were for 1% in 2018, 2019, and 2022 respectively.”  AUB General Manager Eric Newberry said.  “This 2.9% will represent our fourth increase in 16 years and when passed will represent an overall increase of 6.0 percent since 2008, while the consumer price index has increased by 45.7 percent.   We hate to go up on rates to our customers, and that is reflected in our overall record on AUB rate actions as compared to inflation,” according to Newberry.

It is important to point out that this rate increase is on the AUB portion of your bill. “We have no control over the TVA portion of your bill that consists of your seasonal base rates and total fuel cost adjustments,” Newberry said.  “TVA has told us to expect higher fuel costs adjustments on our wholesale bills due to the cold temps and off-system purchased power in January to meet the record demand,” according to Newberry.   AUB typically sends about 83 cents of every dollar collected to TVA cover our monthly power bill.