By Bobbie Poynter
Cumberland Valley Electric members can expect to see an increase on their bill beginning this month.
The rate increase took affect Jan. 16 when the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) granted the coop a rate adjustment of about $968,000, or 2.43 percent. This is the first base rate increase granted to Cumberland Valley since 2006, and only the second since 1980.
Residential customers will see the increase solely in their monthly customer charge, which will rise by $2.99, to $8.73 from $5.74. For a typical customer, the total monthly bill will increase by about 2.9 percent.
“A major contributing factor for the rate increase is the loss of the coal business,” said Robert Tolliver, CVE office manager. Between 2011 and 2013, coal revenues decreased by 33.2%. When coal companies shut down, it hurts all businesses, including CVE, and I don’t see the situation improving any time soon.”
However, even after the rate increase, Tolliver says CVE still has the lowest customer charge for electric cooperatives in Kentucky, and it has some of the lowest overall rates of cooperatives in the state.
Cumberland Valley Electric has about 23,700 customers in Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Letcher, McCreary and Whitley counties in southeastern Kentucky. It is one of 16 cooperatives that owns and purchases power from the East Kentucky Power Cooperative Inc. (EKPC).
Cumberland Valley Electric members are encouraged to visit www.cumberlandvalley.coop for call 606-528-2677 to find out more about it’s many cost-effective energy saving programs.