SEC customers will see electric rates drop in August

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023

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Customers of Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) received some good news recently, as their power bill will be dropping in the months ahead. 

The news comes as SEC officials announced they’re paying less for wholesale power. In turn, they’re passing that savings on to customers. For SEC members using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month, the decrease will mean a savings of about $8 a month. Exactly how much will depend on members’ use.

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, the primary wholesale power provider for SEC and other retail distribution cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, announced it will lower its wholesale rate by $8 per megawatt hour, effective Aug. 1. 

Since the rates the company charges its members across the 18-county service area are directly tied to what it pays for wholesale electricity, members will see a decrease in their charges starting with the August billing cycle.

“During a time when there is so much economic uncertainty, your team at SEC remains committed to helping our communities face these challenges,” SEC President and CEO Jason Loehr said in a statement. 

“Last year, when power prices skyrocketed, we committed to working tirelessly until we were able to lower costs for our valued members,” Loehr said. “The power of the cooperative business model has been on display as the ODEC team combined with the leadership of ODEC’s 11 member cooperatives used its cooperative muscle to effectively navigate these volatile times. I am pleased we can share this good news and hope that lower electric bills will help provide some relief to the financial strain our Southside Virginia communities are feeling.”

Dr. Earl Currin Jr., vice chair of the SEC Board of Directors and an ODEC board member, added that approximately 60% of SEC members’ electric bills is used to recover wholesale power costs. SEC crews have been busy this summer, repairing damage after a number of severe storms. 

“We are in a position to lower electric bills thanks to the team at ODEC, which has done a remarkable job managing power supply through this period of volatility,” Currin said.