TVA explains what determines fluctuating electric rates

By HANA KIM 6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Tornadoes and hail storms in April left a trail of damage. Months later the effects linger in amped up electric bills.

"When Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant was taken off line for a period of time, TVA lost about $90 million in generation," said Tennessee Valley Authority spokesperson Scott Brooks.

To make up that big difference, an average household saw an increase of up to $6.00 in its electric bills for July and August.

The monthly fuel cost is the amount TVA pays to generate enough fuel to meet the demand. On the federal utility's website, take a look at the total monthly fuel cost. It determines the increase or decrease to your bill.

TVA's website says in September, we'll see a 1% decrease from August. If an average home uses about 1,000 megawatts a month, you'll see as much as a $1.50 dip in your bill.

"It's not for repairs. It's not for maintenance," Brooks said. "It's specifically for the fuel cost."

With more coal and gas consumed in the summer months, electric bills are usually higher than the rest of the year.

"It's almost always reflective of demand and of course weather plays into that," Brooks said.

Since demand is usually lower in the winter months, expect rate hikes to decrease in November and December. Of course, that's unless Mother Nature intervenes. 

Anytime TVA decreases or increases its monthly fuel cost, the Knoxville Utilities Board says it will pass that directly on to customers.