Passing the buck; PVEC opts to funnel funds to member customers

Published 9:23 am Saturday, October 8, 2022

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Strangely enough, the COVID-19 pandemic can be credited for giving area electric users a break in the form of a 2.5 percent base rate credit. The Powell Valley Electric Cooperative board of directors has chosen for the third time in as many years to pass the savings on to its member customers.

The Tennessee Valley Authority offered the credit, now known as the Pandemic Recovery Credit, to local power companies in 2020 in response to the economic hardships and financial impact experienced by the communities who use TVA as its ultimate power source.

The extension will remain in effect through September 2023 as communities continue to dig out from the lingering effects of the pandemic.

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Meanwhile, other electric companies have decided to keep some, if not all, the credit to offset the rising costs in materials and labor.

“The Board of Directors understands that members are facing increasing costs in almost all essential living expenses including groceries, housing, vehicles and utilities. In an effort to support the members of the communities that it serves, the board decided to pass 100 percent of the approximately $1.5 million credit directly to its members in the form of savings on kilowatt-hour rates,” said PVEC General Manager Brad Coppock. “Powell Valley Electric Cooperative strives to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to its members. I am pleased to share the board’s decision which demonstrates our ongoing goal of providing power at affordable rates for all our members.”

Headquartered in New Tazewell, the Cooperative has branch offices in Sneedville, TN and Jonesville, VA. Powell Valley Electric is a nonprofit member-owned energy provider serving more than 33,000 homes, farms and businesses in Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins and Union counties in Tennessee and Lee, Scott and Wise counties in Virginia.

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