Solar Means Business: Get the Facts: TVA’s Plan to Increase Rates on Small Business Owners While Giving Handouts to Big Industry

by the Tennessee Small Business Alliance & the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

 

What’s going on?
TVA is proposing changes to our rate structure that will mean more mandatory fees and higher monthly bills for small businesses, while continuing to show preferential treatment to a small handful of large industrial customers.

What exactly are these fees?
Mandatory fees are extra charges that are being added to your monthly electricity bill. Many customers already have high mandatory fees every month and may not realize it. TVA is proposing for the first time ever a wholesale fixed charge called a “grid access fee” for sales of power to your local power company, which usually passes on higher fees to you. The fees have nothing to do with how much power you do, or do not, use. The fees are a flat charge that you owe, before you flip a switch. This extra charge is then ADDED to the normal rate you pay based on how much electricity you use that month, often resulting in an overall HIGHER bill.

How does this hurt my small business?
With TVA’s proposed changes, the average residential electricity customer could likely pay, in total, over $350/year before they even flip a switch ($29.24/month). This charge, which comes from what is called a mandatory or fixed fee, means that we are paying for energy consumption before we even open our doors for business every day. These mandatory fees limit small business owners opportunities for controlling their bills through energy efficiency and self generation investments.

And, while we don’t have full visibility on the amount of the mandatory fees for small businesses throughout the Valley due to lack of information from TVA, we have reason to believe that small businesses are seeing even higher mandatory fees than residential customers.  Recent studies show that over the past five years TVA has shifted $1.4 billion in costs from industrial to residential customers, and this proposal will continue that trend. By their actions, TVA has shown that they are blind to the fact that small businesses are the economic backbone of this state. Instead, they offer preferential treatment to a small group of large industrial customers and pass those costs down to small businesses who are simply asking for fair treatment and a level playing field.

 

What Can I Do About It?
Small businesses are Tennessee’s most effective job creators and drivers of the state’s economy, and TVA needs to hear from you!

 

Learn More
Learn more about TVA rate hikes and other clean energy issues at the southeast regional nonprofit organization, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.