Cobb EMC changes billing rates
by Kim Isaza
November 30, 2012 01:43 AM | 4720 views | 11 11 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 Ed Crowell, Chairman of the Cobb EMC Board of Directors
Ed Crowell, Chairman of the Cobb EMC Board of Directors
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MARIETTA — Cobb EMC customer bills will be different come January, after the directors on Tuesday unanimously approved a rate rollback but doubled the monthly service charge.

The company and its chairman insist the changes will result in unchanged or lowered bills for more than 80 percent of members.

“Apples to apples, whatever you spent in July of 2012, in July of 2013 you’re going to pay less,” Chairman Ed Crowell said. “The service charge accounts for the fixed costs of every customer, whether they have electricity flowing or not. The wiring, the meter, that stays the same. What we found when we tried to reduce rates was that the Wholesale Power Adjustment had been built up over the years with fixed costs, rather than increasing the base service fee. It hasn’t been bill clearly in the past.”

“I’m very glad to say we’re reducing rates,” Crowell said. “It beats the heck out of an increase.”

Beginning with January bills, the Wholesale Power Adjustment (WPA) will decrease from 1.9 cents per kilowatt hour to 1.7 cents and moved into the base rates.

An outside firm that the utility refused to name spent six months studying rates of the Marietta-based electric membership corporation.

The company said in a news release that the changes will result in a savings of $4.09 per month, or about 3.7 percent at a summer electric energy usage of 1000 kWh.

The changes, Crowell said, “make everybody’s bill clearer.”

But the few thousand Cobb EMC members in the south Georgia Pataula district still pay lower rates than metro-area members, Crowell said.

“We dealt with Pataula and put them on a schedule so that by the end of 2013 they’ll be paying the same rates,” Crowell said. “Their rates will be increasing, because they’ll be coming up to the proper rates.”

In other EMC news, the board of directors has engaged a California firm, Clifton Larson Allen, to conduct the forensic audit and that work has begun, said director Malcolm Swanson, who chairs the board’s audit committee.

Also, spokesman Mark Justice said the company has refunded $2.2 million in capital credits. In April, the company announced plans to retire more than $7 million in credits owed to members from 1956 through 1971.

There were 31,000 members during those years, the company has said. Of those who have received payouts so far, 511 are current members, Justice said. Prior to 2012, Cobb EMC last retired capital credits in 1976.

Cobb EMC is a nonprofit electric distribution utility with more than 170,000 members in Cobb, Cherokee, Paulding, Bartow and Fulton counties in metro Atlanta, and Quitman, Randolph, Clay and Calhoun counties in south Georgia.
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Only One
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December 24, 2012
I'm happy to see that I'm not the ONLY one questioning this so called "rate decrease". I may not be a genius, but it seems to me this change is great for the BIG consumers, but a raw deal for the little guy, as is usually the case. Why do you think they always quote the "savings" using peak months as their examples?
Miffed 2
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December 16, 2012
After promising transparency Chip Nelson and the Cobb EMC Board have let us downb again. How come we have to hear about Cobb EMC entering into a power supply deal with Southern Power from Southern Power and NOT Cobb EMC. Are they raising our fixed charges to pay for this deal????

"Southern Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, has been selected to supply Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) electricity to supplement its current generation resources for a seven-year period beginning in 2016. The power purchase agreement – which calls for the sale of at least 325 megawatts annually – is the first such contract between Southern Power and Marietta, Ga.-based Cobb EMC."

Where is the AUDIT???????????????
Economist2
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December 04, 2012
Where is the study that concludes that this change in rate structure is good for EMC Members? Who conducted the study? What are the conclusions? What alternatives were also evaluated? Who reviewed the results? If GA Power wanted a change like this it would have to go the Public Service Commission.
PoliticoNknow
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December 03, 2012
Patula pays lower rates solely because Brownie wanted their vote on the Geogia Systems Operating Corporation (GSOC) and Georgia Integrated Transmission Systems (GITS) Boards so that he could sway policy to favor the insider deals for wholesale power that he was doing with his buddy from Alabama; Cliff Hare's Eagle Energy (now EDF Trading NA).

It's a shame that all those in the know have been little chickens and not spoken out.
Interested Too
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December 03, 2012
The news release stated that the changes will result in a savings of $4.09 per month, or about 3.7 percent at a summer electric energy usage of 1000 kWh.

But how much will our bills go up in the non-summer months where we use much less power and yet the fixed charge is going up. Where is that statistic? How much will these bills be increasing?

To uninterested below: You are obviously a Brownie plant.

Bring on the audit please!!!!
97 pecenter
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December 03, 2012
As usual soak the working families so that the rich, big users of power pay less.

If you want to reduce rates get rid of the incestous power supply deal cut between Brown and the company his Auburn buddy founded Eagle Energy; now EDF Trading NA.

30066
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November 30, 2012
The next story I want to see concerning the Cobb EMC is how many years Mr. Brown is serving.

Hopefully the DA election will bring change.
Just a new way
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November 30, 2012
I'm tired of hearing the bull about customer refunds. I have been with Cobb EMC since 1971 and NOT one refund has ever been sent or credited to my account. They continue to run the company (An outside firm that the utility refused to name)with a lot of secrets. Their data base will tell them which customers are due refunds but they will not take the initiative to do the work. Nothing has change just a new set of Pound Thompson monkeys.
Pat H
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November 30, 2012
So where is the forensic audit? Will it cover the wholly owned subsidiary Gas South, the "slush fund" for Cobb EMC management.

How are Chip Nelson's promised retirement plans and replacement going?

We need a Cobb EMC owner/lawyer to step up and sue for refunds over subsidizing Pataula. There is no reason why they are not paying full price and I can't afford to carry them when I can't deduct them from my income tax as a dependant.
uninterested
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November 30, 2012
Would court costs not exceed any supposed refund? The man said they are bringing their rates up. Time for the strife to cease.

There are some Volunteer organizations that could use your excess energy. Especially now around the Holiday season.

injured Vets especially.
97 perenter
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December 03, 2012
To Uninterested,

You are obviously a Brownie plant.
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