With power consumption down and rainfall up this year, fuel costs for the Tennessee Valley Authority have dropped to the lowest level since the utility began adjusting monthly prices for fuel expenses.
TVA will again cut its monthly fuel cost adjustment in September, lowering the cost of electricity for the typical home in Chattanooga by 1.8% below a year ago. Chattanooga’s EPB said the average household using 1,295 kilowatthours of electricity will pay $2.51 less for electricity next month than what was paid for the same amount of power in September 2019.
“These are record low prices since we began tracking our fuel costs in 2010,” TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said. “The overall system average fuel rate for September is approximately 21% lower than the three-year average September fuel cost.”
Brooks said the lower fuel charges are due to increased hydroelectricity generation and lower prices for purchased power and gas rates.
Rainfall during the first half of 2020 was the highest on record for the Tennessee Valley Authority, boosting TVA’s cheapest source of power from the electricity generated by water going though TVA’s 29 power-generating dams along the Tennessee River and its tributaries. TVA also benefited by cheaper prices for both natural gas and coal, which were pushed lower by the drop in power consumption triggered by the economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cheaper electric bills
For the typical Chattanooga households using 1,295 kwh a month, the EPB bill is:
* $134.73 in September 2020
* $136.68 in August 2020
* $137.24 in September 2019
While electricity prices are down, Chattanooga motorists are paying slightly more for gasoline this week than they did last week, according to a new survey of 170 area service stations by GasBuddy.com.
Chattanooga gas prices rose by an average of 2.2 cents per gallon in the past week to $1.83 a gallon. Despite the uptick in prices at the pump, motorists in Chattanooga are still paying 4.6 cents a gallon less than a month ago and 36.6 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.
According to GasBuddy price reports, average fuel prices in Chattanooga are also 33 cents a gallon below the U.S. average.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said fuel demand is beginning to rise again as the economy recovers from the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.
“Should demand continue to rebound, its only natural that with less oil on global markets, prices are likely to drift to the upside if the situation continues to improve,” he said.
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or at 423-757-6340.