HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville City Council approved a resolution by Huntsville Utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to finish capital projects totaling more than 100 million dollars.
However, there was no promise from either side of how these projects would alleviate any current customer rates that have been the frustrations for several months.
Both Huntsville Utilities and TVA did explain to the city council exactly why those customer rates are so high. Passing the budget needs for projects will almost certainly do little to help those rising rates.
CEO of Huntsville Utilities Wes Kelly presented the budget needs for capital projects that need to be completed throughout the city. Kelley mapped out several issues that the company has faced since the winter of 2021. Number one on the list is the bloated cost of fuel, which he says is the main source of all issues related to project management, costs associated with completing those projects and customer rate hikes.
Kelley also explained that TVA charges Huntsville Utilities per kilowatt rate, and in turn, they charge their customers based on the cost of fuel to run electricity.
“Residential customers are used to paying by kilowatt hour and our commercial customers are used to having a demand component and a kilowatt hour component. That’s the same way we pay our bill to TVA,” said Kelley.
But that does little to help the customer who says that along with the rising, unwanted electric bill, there has been no communication from TVA nor Huntsville Utilities customer service about why the bill is so high.
“I would at least like a reason to know where all of our extra money is going and how it’s going to benefit us and the standard of living in the area,” one customer told News 19. “They are making their payments while we suffer. And enough is enough.”
Wes Kelley mentioned that Huntsville Utilities purchases fuel from every major source possible. The cost has affected that fuel adjustment rate. With the funding to complete projects, those rate hikes have no ending in sight.