Charlotte County power bills could drop, as MEC changes rates

Published 12:45 am Monday, July 8, 2024

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For the second time in less than a year, some Charlotte County power bills could drop. Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative officials announced last week that as of this past Monday, July 1, a rate decrease went into effect. The company won’t be able to guarantee how much will be saved on bills, because that’ll depend on usage. Since January, the cooperative has lowered its residential rate by $3.51. That adds up to a yearly amount of $42.12.

“We are pleased to announce another decrease in our members’ energy bills,” said MEC President and CEO Casey Logan. “We recognize that soaring costs on everything has been challenging and we hope this reduction will provide some much-needed relief for our membership.”

For the most recent reduction, the Board of Directors at Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, MEC’s wholesale power provider, voted in June for a rate decrease. These lower costs are largely the result of less expensive fuel to generate electricity and lower power prices generally across the region.

Beyond Charlotte County power bills

“Another indicator of your cooperative’s strength, its staying power, is its growth,” said Jones. “That growth is perhaps best demonstrated by Mecklenburg’s increase in sales of kilo-watt hours of energy. In 2023, MEC’s energy sales reached an all-time high of over 1.2 billion kilowatt hours. That is more than double our energy sales from just three years ago in 2020.

“That increase is being prompted by growth in our commercial and industrial sector and is creating a striking change in the percentage MEC collects from each Member category,” he continued. “In years past, as much as 90% of the total energy provided by MEC was for residential accounts, but that trend has undergone a significant change. Last year, 45% of our revenues were generated from residential users, while commercial and industrial revenues grew to represent 44% of your Cooperative’s total electric sales.”

“MEC is a not-for-profit cooperative owned by the members we serve, and it is our mission to provide our valued members with the most reliable power at the lowest possible cost,” said CEO Casey Logan. “We remain committed to that mission, and as such, it is also important to note that while MEC passes along rate decreases to the members when generation prices decrease, we also return profits to the membership through capital credit retirements. In December, MEC returned $1,118,682.37 in margins to the group’s membership.

“That,” he concluded, “is the Cooperative Difference.”